Head-On (Gegen die Wand)

"Good"

Head-On (Gegen die Wand) Review


In Fatih Akin's earlier film, "In July," the German-born writer-director took an old-fashioned road movie romance (a variation on "It Happened One Night") and gave it a craggy, sun-baked sweetness.

From the first 40 minutes of this new film, it seems as if he's doing much the same -- until he blindsides you with something new.

It's a strange effect; Akin plays on the familiar to inspire relaxation and the anticipation of something comfortable and routine, but then snatches it away and delivers something darker. The knee-jerked reaction may be to resist, but that would be a mistake. "Head-On" is one powerful film.

Meeting at a psychiatric clinic after they've both attempted suicide, a beautiful young woman, Sibel (Sibel Kekilli) proposes marriage to a shaggy, sad-faced, older man, Cahit (Birol Unel). They're both of Turkish descent, and Sibel figures that she can use this man, who picks up empty bottles for a living, to get away from her overbearing, traditional family.

Of course, the two will fall in love for real. But when Cahit defends his wife's honor and attacks one of her former lovers, he goes to jail. Sibel wanders the city in a daze, throwing herself vacantly into unwholesome and dangerous situations.

Akin's focus is always on the two characters, drawing out fully-rounded emotional centers for both. The storytelling flows naturally from this strong core. It helps that both actors burst with presence; Unel appeared previously in "In July," but Kekilli makes her debut here with astonishing force. "Head-On" also makes great use of nearly forgotten 1980s goth-punk music like the Sisters of Mercy, and it has the attitude to match.



Facts and Figures

Box Office Worldwide: $435.4 thousand

Production compaines: Corazón International, Panfilm, Wüste Filmproduktion, Arte, Bavaria Film International, Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Birol Ünel as Cahit Tomruk, as Sibel Güner, as Maren, Güven Kıraç as Seref, Meltem Cumbul as Selma, Stefan Gebelhoff as Nico, Demir Gökgöl as Yunus Güner/ Vater, Cem Akin as Yilmaz Güner/ Bruder, Aysel Iscan as Birsen Güner/ Mutter, Francesco Fiannaca as Mann am Tresen, Mona Mur as Stammkundin Zoe Bar, Ralph Misske as Patient, Philipp Baltus as Patient

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.