Sundance Film Review: Ivy

Posted January 31, 2015 in
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Sundance Film Review: Ivy
Rookie seaman sailing to Egypt. Film: Ivy, Photo: Tolga Karaçelik

Sundance Film Festival
Director: Tolga Karaçelik

Cenk (Nadir Saribacak) and Alper (Özgür Emre Yildirim) are “rookie” seamen on Beybaba’s (Osman Alkas) ship. Sailing to Egypt, it turns out that the ship’s owner—who hasn’t paid any of the shipmen their wages in a month—has claimed bankruptcy, and the ITF seeks to claim the ship that Beybaba holds in escrow atop the sea in order to assure that he gets paid. The aforementioned characters and Nadir (Hakan Karsak), Ismail (Kadir Çermik) and “Kurd” (Seyithan Özdemiroğlu) remain after others leave and take payment from the ITF. Beybaba puts Ismail in command as the Reis (captain) and Nadir as the cook/medic, and directs them to keep an eye on the other three, of whom he is suspicious. Cenk is a certified troublemaker, and he and Alper, his “sidekick,” drag their feet on an undermanned shipped with late-night rowdiness and drug use. Once Ismail attempts to direct them to work, Cenk brews up trouble with any provocation, and the six-man crew polarizes amid gradually learning of Beybaba’s unfair, macho strategy to hold out against the ITF. Ivy develops each character with a psychotic dose of cabin fever à la The Shining. It draws forth anxiety from the characters and the audience alike to create a tense ambience, which is effective for a drama whose sole setting is a ship (besides a brief montage at the very beginning to contextualize the main characters). Ivy works—it’s an artful film that makes the most of its conceit. It’s stressful to watch, though. –Alexander Ortega

Time: Saturday, Jan. 31 @ 12:15 p.m. Venue: Holiday Village Cinema 2, Park City