Mustang tells the story of five orphan girls who are seen innocently playing with boys on a beach and are scandalized conservative guardians confine them while forced marriages are arranged.
Going into this film, I knew very little of it and hadn’t even seen a trailer, only knowing that it was nominated in the Best Foreign Language FIlm category at this years Academy Awards. I hadn’t even known that Alice Winocour, who was the writer//director for Disorder (which I previously reviewed here), contributed to the screenplay. And boy was it a ride of a film, even though at times I wasn’t sure why those of the audience was laughing but decided that it was more of a black comedy that I hardly understood the comedy of.
It’s clearly a film inspired by Coppola’s Virgin Suicides although I’d like to argue it’s a greater piece of work (honestly, I’m not at all a fan of her work). It gives us an insight into a world where we might not be entirely familiar, of a small village in Turkey where the family of five sisters attempt to take away all forms of perversion to try and make them what they would consider suitable wives.
The drama of the film unfolds naturally and even though it could be considered a feminist film, it doesn’t bash you over the head of it. The girls of the film aren’t defined by the theme or the story of the film as they experience moments of happiness in such a depressingly bleak and serious subject matter. And their performances are amazing, especially that of the youngest in Lale.
It’s a sincere and heartfelt film where you need to have a drink afterwards.