Blu-Ray Review | The Wild Pear Tree | 2019
|Aydin Doğu Demirkol and Hazar Ergüçlü in "The Wild Pear Tree."|
Courtesy of Cinema Guild.
In his follow-up to 2014's Palme d'Or winning Winter Sleep, Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan turns his camera inward for a fascinating and deeply introspective exploration of the very nature of art itself.
Ceylan crams a lot of soul searching into the film's 3+ hour running time. Sinan isn't always a likable protagonist - he's full of himself and the arrogance of youth, completely assured of his own brilliance and convinced that the world around him doesn't understand. His father is similarly self-possessed but approaches life with a greater sense of humility. It is up to Sinan to reconcile his own shortcomings with those of his father, while finding some semblance of wisdom in his father's tenacity. All the while he's grappling with the very idea of art and his own feelings of inadequacy. The question "am I really an artist?" has plagued the subconscious of many a creative person, and Sinan's growing suspicion that he may be an imposter fuels much of his arc in the film.
|Aydin Doğu Demirkol in "The Wild Pear Tree."|
Courtesy of Cinema Guild.
It's often quite talky, any film this chock full of ideas and musings was bound to be, and it sometimes feels like Ceylan is really wrestling with some of these ideas himself, using the film to think out loud as a form of self reflection. Yet for all its philosophizing and intellectual banter, it's the sense of quiet that really lingers. The sound of wind rustling in the trees permeates the soundtrack, their gentle susurrus lulling us into a kind of meditative state appropriate for contemplating its myriad ideas. It’s big and wordy and a bit unwieldy, but it’s so full of artistic angst and insecurity in which an artist grapples with the meaning of art and whether or not he is fit to even be called an artist. It's a nervy, jittery, restless work from a filmmaker determined to never stop probing, reflecting, and seeking answers. Art is the ultimate act of nakedness, each new work opens oneself up to ridicule and heartbreak. It's that risk that provides the thorny center of The Wild Pear Tree - what if, after all that work, you turn out to have completely missed the mark? But no amount of greatness comes without risk, and by the time the film has reached its haunting final shot, it becomes achingly clear that art, be it film, or writing, or music, or even digging a well against all odds, will always be worth it if you persevere.