Jun 15, 2008

Turkish Delight

Lets face it, most film love stories are complete garbage. The ones that come out of Hollywood are especially appalling. Paul Verhoeven’s Dutch masterpiece Turkish Delight is one of the very few exceptions to this rule. The film didn’t receive the award for Best Dutch Film of the Century by the Netherlands Film festival for nothing. Turkish Delight is a powerful love story that shows the beginning and fatal conclusion of a relationship between man and woman of the unconventional sort.

Rutger Hauer plays the eccentric artist and sex addict Eric. This young artist finds his ladylove in the form of redheaded teenager named Olga. The two young lovebirds hit it off perfectly with one another due to their practice of wild sex and erratic complimenting behavior. After first meeting each other, the couple symbolically engage in sex and eventually a car wreck. Not long after the wreck, Eric hunts down Olga at her parents store. Olga’s mother already hates Eric and he could really care less. His only interest is Olga.

Eventually Eric and Olga get married. Olga’s mother attempts to accept bohemian artist Eric and his unconventional lifestyle. Eric responds to Olga’s mothers token kindness by messing with the older woman’s fake breast (she had breast cancer). Olga’s father surprisingly accepts Eric as he seems to be a very mellow and laid back man. When the old man dies, Eric is offered to take over Olga’s parents family business and instead flees to Amsterdam. Eric instead prefers to sculpt and draw figures of his new wife’s nude body.

Eric shows his love for Olga in some of the most perverse yet “touching” ways. In one unexpected moment, he digs through Olga’s feces with his own bare hands to check for blood (she is in fear that she has cancer). Eric is an individual that is incapable of expressing how he feels to others in normal ways. But when Eric expresses his love for Olga, it is more than obvious. At the same time, Eric can be one of the most cruel individuals out there. For example, he sells a nude drawing of the two married lovers although he had already given the drawing to Olga as a loving gesture. Eric also later rapes Olga in a very sneaky and deceptive manner. Unsurprisingly, Olga seems to enjoy the unwanted sex until her mother bursts into the room in a belligerent rage of elderly fury.

Turkish Delight
also features a variety of dream and fantasy sequences that were no doubt inspired by the works of Italian maestro Federico Fellini. Eric imagines himself killing Olga’s lover and then her. He also imagines Olga’s father enjoying his funeral as if he was a young child attending a carnival for the first time. These dream sequences unsurprisingly further compliment the unconventional masterpiece that is Turkish Delight.

Turkish Delight is a love story for the real passionate lovers out there. Those couples out there that have something special and unobtainable that makes others wonder. Turkish Delight is as close to a film will come to portraying one of those rare magnificent and spontaneously joyful relationships. Despite their hardships, Eric stays by Olga’s side to the end. Turkish Delight is a truly heartwarming film that features two humans at the height of intimacy.

-Ty E

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