Film Reviews, Short Review

Gegen die Wand [Head-On] (2004)

3/4

Head-On could have easily been a preposterously over-the-top, garish, misery-porn melodrama which simply wallows in the misery of its characters – certainly the second half of the film feels that way at times. Director Fatih Akin’s screenplay is often unstructured and wayward, recalling the worst excesses of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s work in its occasionally aimless misanthropy. Yet it succeeds, in many ways in spite of itself. The film’s mixture of Turkish and German cultures, its varied and brilliant soundtrack and most of all, the astounding performances of its two stars, Birol Unel and Sibel Kekilli ensure that Head-On remains engrossing and engaging throughout, despite its drawbacks.

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