At three hours and sixteen minutes, director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s film ‘Winter Sleep’ is no quick watch, and is as much a solemn psychological sketch of a wealthy columnist in Cappadocia, as it is a philosophical analysis of the disparities that exist between the wealthy and the poor.
The immense detailing in characterization is what sets ‘Winter Sleep’ apart, and the film makes a slow progression, even as the merciless winter leaves its icy marks on everything and everyone around. Aydin (Haluk Bilginer), and his marriage to the much younger Nehal (Melisa Sözen) reeks of disgust and discontent that is little expressed through words, and yet so prolifically conveyed.
There is also Aydin’s divorced sister Necla (Demet Akbağ), who is convinced that by not resisting evil, one gives it an opportunity to redeem itself. As a cold winter descends on Aydin’s holiday resort in Anatolia, the trio lay themselves out before each other through long-winded conversations, exposing themselves and the ones around.
Ceylan’s film is laborious without doubt, but one which holds its own rewards. And with ‘Winter Sleep’, he further moves ahead from where he had left off in ‘Once upon a time in Anatolia’ and definitely suggests that those comparisons with Bergman, were perhaps not off the mark!