The Cleaner - short film review

Directed by Tofiq Rzayev

Starring Mehmet Fatih Güven, Alsen Buse Aydin, & Erhan Sancar

Short film review by Monica Jowett

Short Turkish film The Cleaner follows a hitman, who, after spending his morning with a woman, leaves for work to get rid of a specific person on the orders of his boss, yet once there, the hitman faces a dilemma in the line of his work.

The film opens with a man Fatih (Mehmet Fatih Güven) lying in bed smoking, spending time with a woman (Alsen Buse Aydin) with whom he is clearly happy and enjoying his time, before he goes off to work as a cleaner. As the woman teases him for having a menial job, it is soon revealed he is a different type of cleaner – a hitman.

Out in an isolated location with his boss (Erhan Sancar) he is given the order to kill the person who is inside the building, and he wants it done quickly. When this person is revealed Fatih is immediately placed in an uncomfortable position where the different parts of his life have met, and he must decide quickly on how to handle the situation.

The character of Fatih has already been built up, even within a 10 minute short film. Although we are shown just a small part of the character’s story, it is easy to establish his character as a man who is adept at his job, as his boss asked him to carry out a hit personal to him. Furthermore, we see that he is not without morals, though they may be in a more grey area and audiences will not find it difficult to like this character.

This short also has a good combination of genre. Centred on a hitman, the film first portrays itself as a dramatic piece, yet through Fatih’s caring relationship with the woman, a romantic element is drawn out, albeit in a twisted way. Then, through the romance of the film, there are origins of dark humour – after all, this is a hitman who has fallen in love and goes to extreme lengths to be with the woman he loves.

The combination of the lighter and darker genres makes The Cleaner an entertaining short film from director Tofiq Rzayev that provides an intriguing storyline about a hitman, with a refreshing take that shows a different side of his life.

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