Tulpan (2009)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Kazakh sheep herders get their cinematic due in this lovely, unsentimental debut from director Sergei Dvortsevoy.

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Movie Info

Big ears can be a real problem. Asa, our hero, never thought about it until he considered the idea of marriage.

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Critic Reviews for Tulpan

All Critics (70) | Top Critics (23)

Dvortsevoy exhibits the storytelling composure and technical proficiency of a veteran, while his keen eye for a pastoral poetic flourish places 'Tulpan' firmly among the year's most endearing cinematic experiences.

Nov 13, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

A coming-of-age story that also examines the pull and push of the modern and traditional, Tulpan is a striking, unique, narrative feature debut for director-writer Sergei Dvortsevoy.

Jul 17, 2009 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Detroit News
Top Critic

The latest import from the steppes of the former Soviet empire is Tulpan, a bittersweet slice of life with a sweet center.

Jul 3, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4

If you surrender to its pace, Tulpan can be intoxicating; it's like nothing else in theaters.

Jun 26, 2009 | Rating: 3/4

Quite extraordinary. Gently comic, ultimately stirring, the nomadic world Dvortsevoy chronicles pays loving attention to the lives of both humans and animals -- interdependent residents in a difficult, memorable part of the world.

Jun 11, 2009 | Full Review…

Tulpan is an amazing film. It shows such an unfamiliar world, it might as well be Mars.

Jun 11, 2009 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Tulpan

½

Dvortsevoy blurs the line between fiction and reality as he offers us an unforgettable peek at an almost alien universe, displaying a remarkable control of his shaky camera and capturing some incredible fortuitous shots against the barren, ruthless sight of the Kazakhstan steppe.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

Really good movie, though one that's more on the quieter side, but it's a lovely little movie nonetheless. I think part of the movie's charm is really how simple it is and how that simplicity is used to create a compelling story with a character who's torn between two lifestyles. The cast feels completely natural as well, as if they were a real family. Granted living in a steppe for a month prior to filming will do that to you, but the movie felt like it just captured a slice in the life of this family and doesn't feel like you're watching a movie at all. Apparently the Kazakhstan government thought that this movie was even more degrading than Borat. Of course they are wrong about this. I don't think the movie is out to represent how all Kazakh people live in "poor" conditions. On top of that, the family in the movie is presented as hard-working and loving (with the exception of Asa and Ondas's dislike of each other), yet this representation is more degrading than Borat? If anything it tries its hardest to shed that image. So kudos to this movie for having respect for its story and its characters. I wouldn't recommend this movie to everybody, seeing as Transformers fans will be bored to tears, but I think it's worth seeing.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

Super Reviewer

½

An interesting tale of the true Kazakstan..in other words the non Borat version. After being taken with the intriguing people of the Steppe, the film drifts slightly and is inconsistent. Attention span alert for those easily distracted..give it a skip.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]In "Tulpan," Asa(Askhat Kuchinchirekov) is home from the navy and is seeking a wife, so he can get a flock of his own from his brother-in-law Ondas(Ondasyn Besikbasov) who feels that a herdsman cannot survive without a wife to take care of the domestic duties that are required, not to mention the whole business of having children and raising a family. At the same time, the sheep are having no problem getting pregnant, but are having a great deal of difficulty giving birth to live offspring which endangers the livelihood of the shepherds living on the desolate Kazakh steppe who have never seen an ocean, much less a body of water. So, when Tulpan rejects Asa as a husband, it is not because of physical appearance, it is because of what kind of husband he would make and what kind of future they would have together. Along those same lines, Asa is considering moving to the city with his pal Boni(Tulepbergen Baisakalov).[/font] [font=Century Gothic]If only the story had been stronger and photography had been better, "Tulpan" might have been truly something. Handheld photography is meant for intimacy and works best inside, whereas here the terrain should have been one of the central points of interest. As it is, it is a fairly interesting look at a different way of life.[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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