Head-On (Gegen die Wand) | Review
Golden Bear winner shows love is lived the hard way.
Building itself as a German version of Nick Cassavetesâ€™ Sheâ€™s so Lovely this dark, at times too intense, haphazardly-weaved concoction shows that even in lifeâ€™s darkest hour that the ability to love and the capacity for love is not an impossibility.
Weâ€™ve heard about arranged marriages, but this would probably best described as a â€˜forcedâ€™ relationship where a pair of wrist-slitting Germans with Turkish blood have reached the cross roads in life, or perhaps the end of it. Fatih Akinâ€™s award-winning drama is a quirky, sadistically difficult film filled that comes across as a self-inflicting wound concoction where a one-sided love story exchange explores the depths of suicidal souls who come together for an intensely-lived relationship.
Head-On works well as a title, the film narrative crashes a little everywhere, taking the filmâ€™s characters for one hell of a ride. With a purposely designed grungyâ€“look; Akin focuses much of the narrative on the strain felt within and between its principle two characters. While the film provides some escapism with some much needed funnier anecdotes, the film then re-interrupts such moments with a rougher ride â€“ blood in sprinkled on the canvas, hand-held shots make it slightly too real and some heavy musical tracks such as Depeche Modeâ€™s â€œI Feel Youâ€ add to the grungy feel of the film.
Cahit and Sibelâ€™s complicated connection is hard to grab hold of, mostly because of the filmâ€™s ambiguous nature. Akinâ€™s Head-On shows that if you canâ€™t change the world that one should change their own world, â€“ but the extent of the grittiness and fevered pitch is far too stretched out and it affects the
filmâ€™s overall identity numbing itself in its own darkness.
Viewed in German/Turkish with English subtitles.
Viewed at the Montreal World Film Festival.