A day in the life of 21-year-old Deniz, who aims to become an actress and makes her living by dubbing movies. After she has split with her old boyfriend she gets to know Diego and spends the evening with him.
Director: Thomas Arslan. AKA A Fine Day.
Writer: Thomas Arslan.
Stars: Serpil Turhan, Bilge Bingul, Florian Stetter, Selda Kaya, Hafize Uner, Hanns Zischler, Elke Schmitter.
Five people have watched this and no comment? Not even a “thank you for uploading this”. So I´ll leave the first one and try finding out why nobody commented.
This is a good movie. Not a very good movie or a “pretty good” movie, just a good movie. Deniz, 21, is having “a fine day”.. Would this be an US-production, she would be a he, his name would be Jeff and it would involve some wicked scheme, one or two car chases, at least have a dozen corpses and in the end Jeff would be rich, have the loot and the girl (in this chronology) and we´d have watched some hassle-free entertaining no-brainer. But this is not an US-production, it´s a German one, so we get none of the above.
This is a mockumentary, a (TV-)movie shot in decumentary style outlining “a fine day” in the life of Deniz, a small (part-)time-actress: she wakes up, goes to her morning-work of dubbing a movie into the German language, meets and sacks her (too boring) boyfriend, visits her mother in her flat to make her laundry, argues with her about how relationships should be (!), goes to a casting (I bet she won´t get the part), meets another guy (possible replacement for the sacked one?), meets her sister, who makes a short stop travelling through, meets the possible replacement-guy again (who has a girlfriend), goes to bed, stands up again (OK, yes it is a bit more than a day …) to find her ex-boyfriend worried in her flat, because she didn´t answer calls, tells him it really IS over, goes for a coffee, where a female history pofessor explains how relationships changed over time, takes the tram to make eye-contact with another male (another replacement?), … fade out.
Would this be an US-production, it would have mucho drama, a lot of shouting, quarelling and crying, maybe even some minor violence (splitting up after some last hitting one another?), and at least a high level of emotional stress.
This is not an US-production, which is in fact good. Would it have been an US-production, I would have quit after 20 minuts give or take. I´ve seen enough US-shit like that to last two lifetimes (I was younger then, sorry, but I should have known better, even then).
A FINE DAY is directed by Thomas ARSLAN, who is actually the reason I also wanted to see it (and his other stuff, I guess), because he made IM SCHATTEN in 2010, which is plain simply a masterpiece, a neo-noir shot in dark colours, which I´d compare to LE SAMOURAI and the best Melville and peers made back in their days. So I decided I wanted to see what Mr. ARSLAN did before and after that.
It seems ARSLAN loves meditative movies made in low-key fashion. This is – like IM SCHATTEN, where it works miracles – one of the most mediative low-key movies I´ve seen in a very looooong time, maybe the most low-key I´ve ever seen?
When you go through my above synopsis you might think, wow, there´s quite a lot happening in a fine day in Deniz´ life, but it doesn´t look that way on screen, deliberately. The movie is shot in loooong shots (I like that), there are no hasty cuts, there is no loud music (is there any music at all? I really can´t say tough I just stopped watching it), all the actors walk and talk low-key/calmly/slowly/articulate, they nearly always have the same (dare I say empty?) expressions on their faces, they hardly ever smile, their voices neither raise nor fall, they never ever shout (even the sacking of the boyfriend goes like a talk over what do we eat for dinner), the level of emotion is not icy cold (like in many Haneke movies), they seem just inexistent, there are hardly any emotions visible at all (Haneke movies look like drama queens compared to this).
Would this be starring my man Charles BRONSON, critics would have shouted in fiery anger that my man BRONSON is again sleep-walking through one of his B-fare. But this is arthouse-fare, so other criteria have to be used.
Nevertheless it is interesting, in some weird way. At least I didn´t stop wtaching.
Now I wonder: Why was it made? What did the producer(s) think when green-lightening the movie? What was the director aiming at? Seeing how many minutes he can fill with hardly much at all (pretty precisely 70)? How stoic he can force his actors to act? I simply don´t know.
And I guess he didn´t really trust his audience, that´s why he inserted a kind of epilogue, which is the scene when the female prof. explains – in a rather simple way – the changing of relationships over times. I don´t think this explanation is really targeted to our “heroine”, but actually addresses his audience to give some interpretation of what his audience COULD think about what they´ve just seen. I hold this against his movie. We are not that dumb.
I know, this sounds as I´m bashing his effort, but I ain´t. It´ s just not a really successful effeort, but an interesting failure. That´s how I see it, my few cents.
If you´ve read through all the above, please don´t get angry with me over a possible waste of time, I have some good news though: try to find IM SCHATTEN, this is an absolutely fantastic neo-noir about some robbery gone wrong, not the robbery per se, but allmost everthing afterwards. It´s the same style, but it fits. It´s an allegory, it´s on point, it´s totally focused, it runs like a clock, precise, tough, relentless. I saw it on youtube (in German, no idea if ever dubbed?) and I was in awe. If you´re OK in German, watch it, it´s abolsutely worthy of your time.
A FINE DAY did not leave me in awe, but in some sort of wonder. Maybe a finger exercise or apprentice piece for better things to come?
I rate this 5-6/10. Like the previous viewers, who didn´t care to comment, because I assume they thought basically the same as I do.
This is an exceptionally good movie.
At least 9/10
Mediocre through and through. Insipid dialogue, wooden acting, do-nothing characters, lackluster cinematography.