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Three Monkeys

Movies Reviews Nuri Bilge Ceylan
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Three Monkeys


Release Date: May 1

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Writers: Ebru Ceylan, Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Cinematographer: Gökhan Tiryaki

Starring: Yavuz Bingol, Hartrice Aslan, Rifat Sungar, Ercan Kesal

Studio/Run Time: Zeitgeist, 109 mins.


Evil is subtle, but undeniable, in fascinating Turkish family drama


So much goes unsaid in Three Monkeys, that the simian alluded to in the title seems likely to be the one who “speaks no evil.” Likewise, in this Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Cannes-wowing noir, the two killings (one accidental, the other premeditated) that bookend the story are never seen. And what is heard, amid the torturously intimate unraveling of a Turkish family, is only as audible as a sigh, a quickening heartbeat, the crack of a palm across a face. Masterfully lensed in dark hues and long static shots, Monkeys tracks the consequences of a cover-up that sends a politician’s chauffeur to jail for a hit-and-run, instead of the guilty man. There’s a pay off involved, which inspires greed in the driver’s shiftless son, and triggers a sudden passion in his wife, who begins a dangerous affair. All nuance and aftershock, the narrative accumulates into moments of unnerving power, limned in sustained dread as faces gaze into darkness. It’s spooky, soul-jarring stuff.