17 05 2017

Perhaps the worst claim that can be leveled against Fatih Akin’s “The Cut” is that it fails to elicit a reaction proportional to the scope of its production. This story of a father, Tahar Rahim’s Nazaret, rendered mute during the Armenian genocide of World War I trying to reunite with his long-lost daughters has an epic scope. Take a look during the end credits, which run well over 10 minutes, at just how many crew members in how many countries came together to bring this story to life. This is a journey spanning decades, and Akin gives his film the sprawling canvas it needs.

And yet, while watching the film, I never really felt overwhelmed and enveloped by the sheer magnitude of “The Cut.” The film never flags in the forward motion of its storytelling or the firm humanist rooting of Rahim’s performance. I was compelled by every minute. Still … I wanted a little something more from it.

Akin’s direction is missing a sense of urgency. (It’s still leagues better than most filmic depictions of genocide – heck, many big-budget tentpoles downplay or flippantly dismiss it!) I’ll note that “The Cut” is not a film about the Armenian genocide so much as it’s a story of a father’s love diverted by the atrocity. But when you brooch such a weighty subject, you can’t just respond in the size of the production. It must also resonate in the gravity of individual decisions. B



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