Çanakkale Yolun Sonu (Gallipoli: The End Of The Road) is a 2013 Turkish movie detailing the events surrounding the battle at Gallipoli during World War I. As an Australian, this provides a great opportunity to view the war from the “other side”, for what was a moment of national history that is often depicted with an unfair local bias.
Muhsin (Gürkan Uygun) is a veteran of the Balkan War conflict who decides to voluntarily re-enlist in the Turkish army, to assist his younger brother Hasan (Umut Kurt), who has been conscripted to defend their land from the invading infidels of the Allied armies. Along their battle to battle journey through the trenches, they encounter nurse Behice (Berrak Tüzünataç), who provides them comfort when all else around them seems so dark.
Upon realising the effectiveness of Australian snipers, the Turkish army generals set about an effective retaliation, with entrusting Muhsin with the special mission of taking out the key Allied military personnel via sniper rifle. The British further retaliate, by bringing in a specialist Australian sniper, to do likewise against the Turkish.
The film is wonderful with its camera-work, showcasing the glorious landscape of the actual grounds of Çanakkale and is a very slick production, overall. The music by Mert Oktan is truly outstanding and beautiful, from start to finish, and clearly one the highlights of the movie.
There are frequent bloody battles, but the movie essentially centres around the relationship between the brothers – Muhsin and Hasan. It is their bond of blood and their commitment to the defence of their land, their village and their people, that propel them towards the ultimate sacrifice. Mate-ship during war? … it sounds very familiar.
I greatly enjoyed the film. I felt it was mostly accurate to the actual events of 1915 and was reasonably fair in its depiction of the “enemy” Allied forces. There were a couple small errors; the Aussie soliders’ dialogue seemed authentic, but their accent rarely matched it, and I did notice a sign for ANZAC Beach had New Zealand spelt incorrectly (“New Zelland”). However, none of these things detracted from the movie experience, as attention to detail was superb, particularly in terms of military uniforms and weaponry.
The abrupt ending of the film was appropriate. It doesn’t reveal who was the victor, possibly because war is a no-win situation for all combatants. Instead, we are to reflect that their are two sides to every story, and they often share the same feelings of despair, sacrifice and pride.
score: 8 out of 10.