‘Hesitation Wound’ Review: A Tense, Dilemma-Filled Day-in-the-Life of a Turkish Lawyer
18.09.2023 - 12:23
Jessica Kiang In the second half of the 20th century a system of categorizing personalities into “Type A” and “Type B” gained mainstream pop-psychological traction. The obvious limitations of its binary, or at best linear, approach have seen the theory largely fall out of favor but sometimes, like when watching Selman Nacar’s sober, stressful second feature, “Hesitation Wound,” it’s hard not to be reminded of it.
Defense attorney Canan (an outstanding Tülin Özen, avid and serious) is competitive, status-conscious, impatient, ambitious and hard-working to the point of work addiction. In other words, she’s the Type A-est Type A to ever have had a very hard day.
Nacar, who studied law himself, has written a screenplay that piles incident on incident, and moral quandary on moral quandary, each bumping into the rear of the next like a knock-on collision in rush hour traffic. But he directs with a spontaneity that means the drama never seems contrived, especially as conveyed in the considered realism of Tudor Panduru’s cinematography.
Panduru, who has been responsible for some of Romania’s most deceptively handsome recent films (among them Cristian Mungiu’s “R.M.N.,” Radu Muntean’s “Intregalde” and Alexandru Belc’s “Metronom”) also shot Nacar’s well-received debut, “Between Two Dawns,” and between them, director and DP have developed a coolly restrained aesthetic that matches the film’s heroine in both elegance and intelligence. Because even though she dresses rapidly this morning in the hospital room where her aged mother lies in an unresponsive state, Canan is always immaculately turned out, in a silk jade blouse or a soft teal sweater, under a lawyer’s gown or a tailored tweed coat topped with an efficient chignon.
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