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The Turkish crew of a cargo ship is stranded off the coast of Egypt when the shipping company they work for comes close to bankruptcy in Ivy (Sarmasik), the second feature of Turkish filmmaker Tolga Karacelik. The director’s first feature, the accomplished Toll Booth, looked at the whirling subconscious of a man doing a numbingly repetitive job and here there’s a similar disconnect between the through-the-motions toil of the seamen stuck on a vessel they can’t leave and what’s going on in their increasingly agitated minds, though unfortunately the more complex and ambitious film isn’t as carefully controlled and structured as its predecessor. Still, this handsomely shot widescreen affair, with an atmospheric soundscape to match, should have no problems seducing festivals and a VOD platform or two after its world premiere at Sundance.
Agitated druggie Cenk (Nadir Saribacak, the teacher from Palme d’Or winner Winter Sleep) and weak-willed hanger-on Alper (Ozgur Emre Yildirim) arrive on the bulk carrier Sarmasik (Turkish for “Hedera,” hence the title) to replace two seamen. Since it’s only their second ever voyage, their relative newcomer status makes them the perfect substitute for the audience, who are also unfamiliar with the ship and the exact jobs of everyone on board. The portly, no-nonsense captain, Beybaba (Osman Alkas), who mostly keeps to himself, doesn’t trust them from the outset and with good reason: Alper wants to leave the ship almost immediately after he’s arrived and Cenk has exchanged the life of a petty swindler for a life at sea. He’s also got his eye on the meds cabinet that might provide him with the material needed for his next hit.
After months without pay, the already disgruntled crew on a Turkish cargo ship arrives in an Egyptian port and learns that the Port Authority is foreclosing on them. Ordered to anchor offshore, the remaining skeleton crew has their passports seized and must maintain the vessel until its owner’s debts are paid. Tensions quickly arise between the authoritarian Cypriot captain, his devoutly religious second-in-command, an affable cook, and a trio of newcomers to the ship—a pair of druggie ne’er-do-wells and the near-mute, hulking Kurd. As months pass, food and entertainment dwindle, alliances shift, and the men take out their raw frustration on one another.
Ivy (Turkish: Sarmaşık) is a 2015 Turkish drama film written and directed by Turkish filmmaker … Less impressed reviews came from Variety’s Dennis Harvey and Hollywood Reporter’s Boyd Van Hoeij, who both commend the film for its strong…There are no featured reviews for Ivy at this time. Rate it! … There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.