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Hesitation Wound – Muslim International Film Festival (Film Review)

2 min read

From 12 Angry Men to Liar Liar, the courtroom has provided a breeding ground for tense, highly dramatic storylines that keeps audiences begging for more. In Hesitation Wound, we are treated to yet another instalment of the genre. This time the stage is set in Turkey offering a different perspective on the well worn subject.

The plot takes place in Turkish City Usak and follows the arrest and the trial of factory worker Musa (Ogulcan Arman Uslu). He is accused of murdering his boss, but Musa is a man of few words and Canan (Tulin Ozen), Musas assigned lawyer, believes there is more than meets the eye. As she delves deeper into the case she uncovers shocking revelations, that if true could have ramifications beyond the courtroom.

The community affected outwardly proclaim that he is a guilty man, but under the lawyers scrutiny secrets are revealed. In the day Canan spends her time fully invested in the case and at night she is all consumed with her ailing mother. The dual responsibilities soon ramp up the stress and previously suppressed problems rise to the surface. It is at the point when the film truly begins.

Selman Nascar's second film is an entertaining and gripping drama, that puts moral questions deep under the microscope. The moral questions interweave with each other and leave the audience facing dilemmas as to what really is right and wrong.  A rag tag courtroom plays centre stage with leaks from the roof and violent eruptions causing proceedings to stop and start in dramatic fashion. A standout performance from Tulin Ozen pulls the film from the mediocre and elevates it up high. Her energy and guile is magnetic to watch and she provides a good focal point for the narrative.

It is a slow build to begin with, but once the latter stages of the court case begins the energy and tension ramp up. At this point, scene after scene there are countless twists and turns. The pressure builds on Canan, and it is palpable to the audience watching. In true courtroom drama style bombshells are dropped towards the end, turning the story on its head. Canan has to use all her ingenuity, sometimes pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable, to try and save her client.

In comparison to Oscar winner Anatomy Of a Fall, a fellow courtroom story, it never hits the heady heights of a classic. It does however provide plenty of ethical questions to the viewer to make this an interesting and unique watch. Tulin Ozen puts in a strong, commanding performance and its her character that keeps you hooked. It is slow to get going, but once it reaches fifth gear you won't be able to keep your eyes away from the screen.

Hesitation Wound screened at Muslim International Film Festival 2024