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G.O.R.A.

G.O.R.A. (2004) Movie Poster
Turkey  •    •  127m  •    •  Directed by: Ömer Faruk Sorak.  •  Starring: Cem Yilmaz, Rasim Öztekin, Özkan Ugur, Idil Firat, Safak Sezer, Özge Özberk, Erdal Tosun, Ozan Guven, Cezmi Baskin, Engin Günaydin, Muhittin Korkmaz, Halil Akçam, Melike Balci.  •  Music by: Ozan Colakoglu.
        Arif is a carpet salesman, tour guide, and travel agent who is obsessed with UFOs. Ever the businessman, he stages a series of fake UFO sightings (most of which involve a ceramic dish held up against the horizon), and taking full advantage of technology, 'captures� them on film for local tabloids. Ironically, one day he is abducted by real UFOs and taken to the planet G.O.R.A. While Arif's primary goal is to escape, he finds himself waging a war against Logar, the human-hating commander of the alien army who wants to take control of the planet and enslave the human race.

Review:

Image from: G.O.R.A. (2004)
Image from: G.O.R.A. (2004)
Image from: G.O.R.A. (2004)
Image from: G.O.R.A. (2004)
Image from: G.O.R.A. (2004)
Image from: G.O.R.A. (2004)
Image from: G.O.R.A. (2004)
Image from: G.O.R.A. (2004)
Image from: G.O.R.A. (2004)
Image from: G.O.R.A. (2004)
Image from: G.O.R.A. (2004)
Image from: G.O.R.A. (2004)
Image from: G.O.R.A. (2004)
Image from: G.O.R.A. (2004)
Image from: G.O.R.A. (2004)
A rare Turkish attempt to mimic Hollywood production got one thing right - the trailer is infinitely better than the film itself. Over time it has taken on a life of its own on the Internet, with a couple of ostensibly clever jabs at "Matrix" and "Star Wars". See it and that's about as much fun as you will get out of the entire feature. See the rest if you think it'll help you infer something about Turkish culture. Beware, though: you might come to a conclusion that the Turks have quite a low grade sense of humor and that practically everybody can be a comedian there.

"G.O.R.A." tries to spoof the Western Sci-Fi genre. It fails so badly at it that the only thing it achieves is to make one appreciate the spoofed material even more. The jokes that worked in the trailer just fell flat in the actual film because they came off random and gratuitous, without a proper set-up.

The space between is filled with inanity and randomness, as far as the viewer accustomed to the coherence of Western films is concerned. Characterization is poor and unconvincing, plot points are disjointed as if several story lines were forcibly merged into one, pop references are crude and literal ("I've seen it in the Fifth Element!"), the fourth wall is smugly being broken ("This goes out to you, Hollywood!"), there are unnecessary flashbacks that slow down the plot, there is a heavy reliance on shallow stereotyping to elicit humor, and the main character, a sleazy everyman who just can't shut the hell up, is one of the most insufferable leads I've ever seen on screen. I'd feel sorry for one Cem Yilmaz who plays him, hadn't he been the one who wrote the daft script in the first place. In an act of vanity he also took up three more roles here and has only achieved something of note with the role of main villain.

The production value, as seen in the trailer, largely holds up throughout the film. Visibly, most of the budget went into the special effects, the costumes and the sets. However, already at the cinematography level things fall apart, as one can observe the uneven color grading, mistakes in the lighting setup and so on. Furthermore, the art direction is overly glossy so everything looks more like a commercial than a feature film, but all of that is at least passable. What is uniformly bad is the cast, who are simply lost in space, and the director who doesn't know what he wants out of the scene and the actors, has little understanding of camera positioning and movement, and has no knack whatsoever for comedic timing and pace. The overall feel one gets is that, while there is always something happening on the screen, the plot never gains a momentum.


Review by CherryBlossomBoy from the Internet Movie Database.