Men On The Bridge Review

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Three Istanbul workers, each played by the actual men, strive to get ahead in the bustling Turkish metropolis.

★★★★★

The Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul (not Constantinople) spans the European and Asian sides of the city. As such, traffic on it is in a near-permanent state of gridlock, and director Asli Ozge uses this as his metaphor for the lives of his three central protagonists, a share-cab driver (Umut Ilker), a traffic cop (Murat Tokgöz) and a young, impoverished roadside flower seller (Fikret Portakal). None of the trio are professional actors, giving the film a nice, naturalistic feel (Loachian, if you like), but even despite their trials, it’s difficult to feel for anyone but the most put-upon character — the boy Fikret; Ilker is essentially dishonest, and unlucky-in-love Tokgöz reveals himself to be the Turkish equivalent of a redneck racist, none of which makes the 87 minutes exactly fly by.

Despite one or two nice moments and the naturalistic tone, it's all a bit of a slog.