Head On | Chicago Reader

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The Golden Bear winner at the 2004 Berlin festival, Head On concerns a strange marriage of convenience between two Turks in Hamburg (Birol Ünel and Sibel Kekilli) who meet in the waiting room of a psychiatric clinic. He's a burly, glum middle-aged loner with violent tendencies. She's a high-strung young nightclub habitue with a controlling family and a fondness for picking up random men for sex. Improbably, the two bond, and their relationship takes the film on a jolting, sometimes funny tour of seedy urban locales and turbulent emotional zones. Director Fatih Akin has skill and panache, and the lead actors are likable. But the film's high energy can't compensate for the muddled conception. In English and subtitled German and Turkish. 122 min.

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