Nonsense. He is, instead, freeing and universalizing it. As I stated, we all know Isas and Bahars; and this is precisely because Ceylan does not ground his work in the ephemera of politics. What would a viewer care, in 20 years, of the internal political milieu of Turkey, in regards to pensions or health care? But in 200 years, humans will still be able to instantly recognize the looks of hatred and apathy (often simultaneous) that the two leads give to each other. Ceylan, in fact, has said, "In real life we always lie, so dialogue doesn't carry so much information." This is why his visuals are so important.
The DVD, put out by Zeitgeist Films, includes some nice extras, and shows the hour and 45-minute film in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. There are interviews with Ceylan, in English, and with his wife and co-star Ebru Ceylan, in Turkish. There is a making of documentary on the film, but it is mostly behind the scenes shots and outtakes. There is no thread that ties the shots together and lets one know the processes that shaped the film. There is also the original U.S. theatrical film trailer, and a feature on the film’s cast and crew at the Cannes Film Festival. There is also, in the DVD insert booklet, a reprinting of New York Times film reviewer Manohla Dargis’s review. The DVD also features English subtitles, in white, which, thankfully, don’t distract too much from the film. There are a number of spelling errors, though, but they are minor, such as ‘though’ for ‘thought.’
Yet, the film succeeds because it is great on many levels: the writing, the visuals, the acting, and even the editing, especially of aural techniques. There are a number of scenes where the audio of a coming scene starts the bridge from the video of the current scene. This is best seen in the café shot of Isa that bridges into Bahar knocking on his door. It’s also an ample demonstration, indeed a refutation, of some of the negative claims about Ceylan’s films: that they lack a narrative cohesion. But these sorts of claims are made by callow minds. Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, as example, is often claimed to lack any real narrative and character development, but it simply employs a different sort of strategy to tell the tale — a Matissean one, where broad strokes evoke things in viewers.