Directed by Tofic Rzayev
Starring Ethan Sancar, Sevgi Ucgayabasi & Alsen Buse Aydin
Short film review by Sarah Smeaton
What is so striking and captivating about this short film is how immediately you are drawn in, wanting to know more about the characters’ backgrounds and who exactly they are. I’m not sure you come anywhere closer to finding any of this out by the conclusion of the film, but what is remarkable is that in such a short space of time, just over thirteen minutes in fact, you will undoubtedly find yourself inexplicably identifying with the main male character who remains nameless throughout.
Director Tofic Rzayev is not afraid to lean on the aid of silence in this film and as such has created an incredibly moody piece that has an all-consuming atmosphere throughout. The lack of soundtrack or dialogue in the opening scenes of Nihan: The Last Page (Turkish title - Nihan: Son Sofya) instantly draws all attention to the main character. Who is he? Where has he come from? What is he doing? Silence, apart from a distant thunderstorm in the background, perfectly encapsulates the tone of this film, and the delicate classical music that follows flows seamlessly throughout the subsequent scenes, leaving no room for doubt that this is, essentially, a love story.
We meet the main male character at a point in his life where the unimaginable has happened to him and he’s lost the love of his life, Nihan. In order to find some kind of meaning to his life he’s taken to writing a story of their life together, but he cannot complete the last page for fear of shutting the door, or in this case the last page, on his beloved. The simplicity in this is so endearing and honest, that you cannot help but get lost in his emotions. Ethan Sancar plays this role fantastically.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the character’s journey in this film, it was let down by one of the predominant scenes where the male is talking to a secondary female character. Whether a result of a lack in acting ability or from intended direction, there was a real distance between these two characters and no real chemistry. In fact I was left wondering who she in fact was as their connection was never solidified. She appeared unnecessary to the development of the plot and therefore left me feeling as though she’d just be written in to enable this man to have an outlet to speak his feelings to.
What’s so refreshing about this short film, though, is that, yes, there is a very upsetting theme at the heart of it, but the focus is on the aftermath of this, not the actual event. The aftermath, as is so common in life, is not overly dramatic or noteworthy, but the everyday melancholy of this cannot help but make you want to watch more. Nihan: The Last Page is without a doubt a beautiful snippet into everyday life.
More short film reviews this way.