Climates (Iklimler) (The Climate)

2006

Climates (Iklimler) (The Climate)

Critics Consensus

Aesthetically sound and solidly acted, but will nonetheless ring hollow for some viewers.

73%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 67

75%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,862
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Movie Info

The seasons mark the stages in the collapse of a marriage in this drama from Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Isa (Nuri Bilge Ceylan) is a college professor with a younger girlfriend, Bahar (Ebru Ceylan), who works as an art director for television. Isa and Bahar have been together and seemingly happy for years, but as they vacation with friends in the seaside community of Kas, it becomes obvious the two are drifting apart, and one evening over dinner their tensions come out into the open; Bahar calls an end to their relationship as she heads home for Istanbul without her Isa. As fall sets in, Isa and Bahar have fallen out of touch with one another; he's resumed an on-again, off-again relationship with his lover Serap (Nazan Kesal) which is founded on a mutual enthusiasm for aggressive sex, while Bahar is working in Eastern Istanbul on a television project. With the coming of winter, Isa travels to the remote mountain location where Bahar has been working to pay a visit, though neither party is sure if they want to reconcile. Nuri Bilge Ceylan not only wrote and directed Climates (aka Iklimler) but played the male lead, Isa, while his real-life wife, Ebru Ceylan, portrayed Bahar. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Climates (Iklimler) (The Climate)

All Critics (67) | Top Critics (29)

Audience Reviews for Climates (Iklimler) (The Climate)

  • Jan 07, 2015
    Ceylan crafts this enthralling story of a collapsing marriage with an enviable use of visuals and sound, but the film is also too thematically ambiguous, leaving us unsure if it wants perhaps to expose Turkish sexism or blame it on a presumed female weakness of attitude and character.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 22, 2013
    In simplicity lies complexity. Ceylan has moved from urban alienation to sentimental alienation through a no less than simple plot about an unsuccessful marriage. So why is it a cinema master's work? Ceylan understands the irrationality of human impulses and how moments drag endlessly and walk slowly during uncomfortable silences and individual reflections. He spends time putting you in the context. Such context actually works better if you can relate to it. If you can't, try emulating it. Watch the film alone during a winter evening with a cup of hot chocolate and a rested mind. You'll notice how the little things and details of life normally blocked by noise come up to the surface when everything is standing still. This very peculiar law does not only apply to inert objects. We are the same. In those dragging silences, stares, laughs, a smoking cigar, confused eyes, killer stares, all acquire a meaning and reveal things about our deepest thoughts that would pass unnoticed under agitated circumstances. In this way, Ceylan achieves striking realism. The beauty of landscapes helps to contrast the rotten state of their personalities; the peacefulness of the scenarios contrast their inner lack of peace. By the end, we realize that nothing is what it seems. Even if we may sometimes feel like the perfect jurors of the world, we cannot blame anybody even if we may disapprove certain actions committed by other people, because nobody is perfect. We are left, thus, with an ending difficult to decompose rationally but extremely easy to understand emotionally. 97/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 28, 2011
    7.5/10 Most movie romances go with the flow; they start out good, hit a rough spot, and then get right back up again. And then everyone lives "happily ever after", so to speak. "Climates" is that rare, admirable film that decides to break the mold by abandoning nearly every cliché in the book. Here is a love story in which we never see the good times; only the bad times. The film is about a couple in which the man and the woman truly detest each-other. We're shown only the dip rather than the rise (of their relationship), and therefore it almost feels as if they never had any "good points" to begin with. Sure, this takes away from "Climates" and its appeal. Sure, it will bore people to death therefore. That's great; that's wonderful. And somehow, this film almost makes it its job to feel hollow and nearly heartless, and there's something I quietly admire about that whole stunt. It's not something that a film should or would typically be proud of, but "Climates" has a story to tell, and it deserves to be heard. I will not recommend the film; it is meant to be watched by a specific audience, but sadly, that's the only audience that will enjoy it. Everyone else will find it bland, bleak, and quite tiresome. But I find it artistic, enjoyable, and therefore quite insightful. It's not perfect, but it's not bad either. It's nowhere near bad, and it has PLENTY of redeeming, artistic factors to it. And I love myself a good art film, as we all know. So that explains why I enjoyed the bleakness of "Climates". It's a depressing film; the best kind of film, for a lot of the time at least. But then there are films that are just so depressing that you want to turn them off. For many, "Climates" was one of those films. For me, it was smart enough to be entertaining, and real enough to feel new. It's unlike any romance I have seen before; and the slow-pacing almost helped the thing. I will indeed say that I enjoyed it, and to anyone who's willing to take the trip, it's a recommendation. But as I said, I will not recommend it. And you should already know why that is. I'm just trying to be careful; since you should not let me tell you to watch a movie that you may hate. But what I see in "Climates" is an interior of pure beauty; one that few romances have. It's a unique and artsy feature; just the kind of film that will grow on me in time. I think I'll let it breathe, and perhaps then, I shall see the film again to get a different result. It's that kind of film. The film centers on a couple that despises each-others company. Whenever they make a trip to somewhere, one gets intrigued while the other gets bored. In the opening shot, we see the couple at some old ruins. The "boy" is having a jolly old time, snapping pictures of the aging, eroding sculptures and buildings with his camera. The "girl", however, is bored as hell; sitting on the sandy hills to pass the time by. And then, the couple makes a trip to the beach. This is where they agree to split up; but in a rather painful way. They stay apart for quite some time, and the "boy" is tempted by other women. The "girl" doesn't want to get involved, and does not want to communicate anymore with the "boy". It's a depressing love story, that is, if it could be called a love story at all. The film is not a celebration of love, and if anything, it feels like it's putting the whole concept of love aside. But I find the film emotionally bleak but ultimately resonant in the end. My final verdict is that I kind of enjoyed myself in my own little way. The story is ridiculously slow and often times quite tedious. But the film gets right down to the point with its artistic merit; and boy, is this film artistic. If you like films that exist to be artistic rather than stories, then this film is for you. But if you can't deal with what most would call "painfully unwatchable boredom", then stay away from "Climates" by all means. I liked it; but not many people will. Overall, it's not quite great enough to be a definite recommendation; and therefore I don't think I will recommend it at all. It felt sneaky to me, but I am often a little too intrigued by films as bleak as this. It feels "different", so to speak, compared to most films in its genre. The film doesn't seem too interested in romance or drama; it just wants to be solid and imagery driven. But in that sense, it might as well be fascinating. And that's why I think it is good. You have to admit; this film has some darned good acing. Both actors in the film seem appropriately somber and flamboyantly bleak to the point where I kind of found them entertaining. Or perhaps entertaining is the wrong word, and "interesting" would best describe how I felt about them. Ebru Ceylan and Nuri Bilge Ceylan play the couple quite nicely and in their own way, convincingly. They're a depressing couple, and they're hard to like, but at the same time I think that was precisely the point. So if that was the intent of the director, then they did quite well. But the real talent comes from Nuri Bilge Ceylan as the director rather than the actor; and I liked his vision here. But I'll discuss that in detail a little later. I have enjoyed visually bleak films. Some of them are unforgettable, uneasy, and even quite disturbing; all without showing anything that's meant to provoke. "Climates" is bleak to the max; visually beautiful in its own bland little ways, but boring to most none the less. It's a well-directed feast no matter how you view the film, and Ceylan's vision is pretty spot-on. The cinematography is pretty beautiful for most of the time, and Ceylan chooses imagery and sound over dialogue and story-telling. In that sense, "Climates" is artistic; and it's a damn good movie if that's the case. The sound department is, as I said, key to this film's success. It won't make a difference to a lot of people, since most people are used to films that tell you up front what's going on, but if you stop to admire this film in all its silent, artistic glory; than you shall find a quiet and smart cinematic gem. It's no classic, and it's not quite great; but I like the craft that went into the production, and Ceylan seems like a talented director. I am indeed quite curious in whatever he's got coming out next, and I'm sure it will be as good as "Climates" is. But then again, not everyone liked "Climates". Most people just didn't. And that's why it's kind of a mixed bag to many; but to me, I see something remarkably beautiful. I also see something worth checking out. But don't bother if you can't stick with the thing for the entire trip. "Climates" is passionately atmospheric, emotionally bleak, and quite silent in some instances. It's a remarkably artistic romantic drama; complete with a dark sense of romance and a nigh emotionless sense of drama. This film snickers because most people know it's worth despising. Ceylan seems to know that most people won't like "Climates", but he doesn't care; it's his movie. I admire the risks he took while making this film, since it's quite a risk to make something with such little appeal as this. Most people go for the mainstream in romantic drama, while other artists such as Ceylan will try something different. I admittedly like and was entertained by "Climates", and it's admirable in its crafty artistry. It's not for everyone and it's not for most people, but I kind of like the personal touches put into it. Again, it's not great. It's no masterpiece, and it's not one of the past decade's best films. But some will love it and some will hate it. That's kind of admirable too, since most films try to have a lot of appeal. If you're too intoxicated in main-stream filmmaking, then you won't connect to "Climates" in the slightest, but if you like artistic filmmaking; then there's stuff to see here. I looked at the film and smiled. I liked how it looked and how it felt. It's heartless and bleak; just how I would have liked it. There's virtually nothing wrong with it aside from its limited appeal and its lack of a true recommendation. There are better films out there, but that's not a reason to NOT watch "Climates". But it has about as much appeal as a tornado warning; and it hits you with the same kind of relentlessly careless force. The film is handled and directed well, and that's what counts. Yes, I liked "Climates". I admit that, and I'm not afraid of the criticism that I may receive. And that's all for now.
    Ryan M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2010
    Thought-provoking sequences of really amazing shots is offset by so-so acting by the director himself. Ceylan should stick to being a behind-the-camera guy and focus on bringing out the best in his actors. Otherwise, really interesting film about disintegrating spousal relationship that is mostly and powerfully expressed through silence.
    Bert R Super Reviewer

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