TIFF 2015 – “Ivy”


A Writing Craft Review of the  screenplay by Tolga Karacelik and Bilge Elif Özköse for “Ivy
                                                                  directed by Tolga Karacelik

(These are snap judgements devoid of plot summaries and prone to spoilers)                                                                 rating 2 out of 5

The story at the heart of “Ivy” is old, a ship trapped by the doldrums and its crew falling victim to internal dissent. It is a plot upon which a few great writers have constructed masterpieces but many, many other writers have had much less success with a narrative that is basically a bunch of men squabbling themselves to death. The art is not in the plot–it is in the telling. These scriptwriters had the admirable intention to translate the tale into a series of images but strung their banal hostilities on a few frail characters that were all broken long before they signed onto this weak vessel. The ivy, an image borrowed from fantasy novels, is a pretty cinematic gimmick but the scriptwriters didn’t use it as more than decoration. Things cannot makes themselves metaphors. That is the artist’s job. Critics can impose meaning upon films like this but those meanings owe nothing to the scriptwriter’s contribution.

Good line: “We are the ship’s bilge.”