Five orphaned sisters living in a Turkish village play with their male classmates on the beach. In their conservative village this news reaches their grandmother quickly and from then the sisters are placed on what can only be called a house-arrest all the while being ‘prepared’ for be married off!
Running Time:
97 min
Release date:
19 May 2015
Directed by:
Deniz Gamze Ergüven
Produced by:
Charles Gillibert
Written by:
Deniz Gamze Ergüven
Alice Winocour
Güneş Şensoy
Doğa Doğuşlu
Elit İşcan
Tuğba Sunguroğlu
İlayda Akdoğan
Nihal Koldaş
Music by:
Warren Ellis
Shot by:
David Chizallet
Ersin Gok
Editing by:
Mathilde Van de Moortel
Distributed by:
Ad Vitam

What’s Hot

  • The film’s theme, although not uncommon in conservative Asian countries, does shock you in its plain depiction of the violence (which is more mental than physical) that the young girls are subjected to. In spite of this, the inherent strength in such oppressed girls/ladies is shown in the way they break the rules fully aware of the repercussions. The realistic thrills or rather tension you get when the girls step out of the line each time is a proof of the cinematic mastery by the team.
  • The youngest of the lot, Lale played Güneş Şensoy is sensational. The firebrand girl reminds us of a young Ellen Page from films like Hard Candy. She brings out the child within only when she giggles, plays alone or when she first learns to drive a vehicle.
  • The performance of the Nihal Koldaş as the protective grandmother and Ayberk Pekcan as the male chauvinistic violent uncle makes us seethe in anger. Similarly, the tenacity of the other ladies who form the supporting cast is impressive. The way the character “Aunt Emine” takes down the power to protect the children makes one enthusiastically hoot in approval. Also, the characterization of Yasin is wonderful given that you never know if he is in the right but are made place trust in him.
  • A fabulous score throughout the film allows you to glide over the montages sequences at ease with the prime example being the “Swimming on bed” sequence. Similarly, the Sound design overall adds authenticity to proceedings especially when the girls cut their hair, the sniping of the hair using scissors is well brought out.

What’s Not

  • In spite of the film moving slowly you get the feeling that only the top layer of the regressive society has been shown. There are countless Asian films that deal with the issues more deeply than ‘Mustang’ has done.




Verdict Stamp

Mustang is a cinematic representation of the oppression faced by women in rural Turkey. It brings out the indomitable spirit of the modern Turkish woman through the protagonist who delights in her performance as the firebrand Lale!