Country: Germany / others
Movie Review: German filmmaker/screenwriter of Turkish descent, Fatih Akin, roundly stumbles in “The Cut”, a grim picture about an Armenian family man who survives the terrible genocide inflicted by the Turkish in 1915, during the Ottoman Empire. The sad story of Nazaret Manoogian (Tahar Rahim), who was hauled from his house and taken to isolated arid mountains for hard labor, never truly did much to gain our attention and cogitation. He miraculously survives the massive throat slitting perpetrated by the oppressors but loses his voice. After briefly joining a group of rebels, he decides to abandon them and go after his family. The only one he finds with life is his sister-in-law who, in a deplorable state, expects being struck by death at any minute. Hapless and emotionally devastated, a little hope will spark in his heart when he bumps into an old acquaintance that tells him his twin daughters might be still alive. The relentless search takes him to Havana and then to the US, where a few intractable episodes won’t frustrate the renewed Nazareth of regaining hope and faith. Whatever were the intentions of the acclaimed Mr. Akin, who has unforgettable dramas in his curriculum such as “Head On” and “The Edge of Heaven”, “The Cut” slides into commercial territory, and in any occasion was sufficiently gritty to knock us down, squandering all the chances to escape banality and cause a positive impression. This dismal exercise, which shares a few tedious similarities with “The Water Diviner” in a different historical context, uses six distinct languages to construct an overlong narrative that falls short of its dramatic ambitions. Tahar Rahim’s performance failed to be compelling, while talented Mr. Akin was never so boring before, evincing an embarrassing lack of vision.