Nuri Bilge Ceylan cinematography contains transformations and developments as well as fractions in itself, too. The sociological inversion that started with Once Upon A Time in Anatolia contained expansions “from individual to mass”. These expansions extend from script to lighting, from use of place to editing, from camera angles to casting. I think, at this exact context, The White Pear Tree comes to the forefront by taking the big risk of not being afraid to transform that the artist has always kept in himself. What is it? It is to get out of the artistic frame/framing to capture everything in its own reality and to withdraw the visual sensation/suggestion and to bring the sociological language forward. Just as in Dostoyevsky, after showing a human in the social environment, it is to dive into the spiritual world and psychological universe. We come across this social and sociological environment/frame in an Anatolian county Çan that is accepted as a rural area formation itself in all aspects, out of big cities, economically more developed but sociologically close to its counterparts.
A young from rural area who just finished university, a father who is hurled till the horse race coupons by life while sticking to his ideals, a desperate mother, a reckless sister, pure and innocent grandmothers and grandfathers… The main outline of the story that we watch is a young man’s future quest and struggle to hold on to life among them. That is not all, though. Full of literature passion, young Sinan has written a book that looks like a novel and he is eager to get it published. He asks for the help of the Mayor and new generation businessmen for this. Hereby, we meet with the funny and also parodic lines of the new type of income and politics spirit of Turkey. In the view that all types of opportunism hit the top, the young man makes the shots more intense by his attitude and language that do not meet the halfway at all. I have to say that we meet with a film that talkativeness without mincing matters and abundance of words outweigh more.
However, while the conversations progress, unraveling grows, in a way, as far as social trauma, signs of insanity reveal. The director uses a method like advancing silence by increasing conversations. Thus, unlike many of the previous films, He gets closer to more like a novelist than a poet by extending conversations. The main character is already focused on writing a novel. Ceylan who blinks to poem that is attached to images in his first films is more of a novelist this time.
Moreover, he is in the pursuit of a father-son overlap as much as conflict. In a place, country, and time where and when the social environment is so definitive, it cannot be expected that the living things that are the organic derivatives of each other can be different. The father is in debt spiral and addicted to horse races, but the son, too, sells the old book left from grandmother, and cash in his father’s dog that he loves a lot. The decadent father who is an irritatingly antipessimist in all cases is looking forward to the days that he would get retired and work on animal husbandry. This man who is besotted with digging a well in a place where everybody says finding water is impossible is actually an experienced looser.
The son will get closer to the father in this short time by keep crashing the life and in the last move, he will undertake the last hits of digging the well. Nuri Bilge Ceylan integrates a striking reality dimension into the father-son issue. Not from myth, he goes from reality to myth. Besides, each of these moves includes symbolic references. Partly, fantastical language and dream interfere ingeniously. The scene that the door is left open and the money is stolen is as if it was distilled from eastern narration.
Without canonizing any character and by dealing and processing them as striking, pervert, overwhelming and looser subjects of the time and place that they belong to, The White Pear Tree is indeed a sociological diology, as well as being extremely political. He is even so much in the quest that he tries to go out of cinematography which is accumulated in the audience of a director in time. Of course, there are some excessive parts and even some familiar continuation incompatibilities. However, these are deliberate steps taken even by the director any more. Not a masterpiece yet, but it is a pleasant begging that leaves traces which should be pursued. The transformation of pleasure while transforming.