Jaan (Kemal Yildirim) is a professional hitman for the mob, and he's
the best in the business. His choice of career was triggered by the brutal
assassination of his father, a powerful mob boss. But Jaan is a hitman
with a heart, he lovingly cares for his brother Jem (Daniel Beckett), who
has long turned his back on the mob and started a restaurant, and his
girlfriend Aysha (Saima Yildirim). So when gangsters try to collect
protection money from his brother, Jaan is on high alert. However,
investigating the whole affair, he finds a trail that leads back to his
own gang, and when both his girlfriend and his brother are kidnapped, Jaan
begins to realize it is him whoever-it-is is actually after ...
here to open the Spoiler Pop-up!
inspired by Hong Kong heroic bloodshed and martial arts movies from the
1980's and 90's, with a bit of Seijun Suzuki's Branded
to Kill thrown in just for good measure, Shades of a Killer
admirably succeeds in recreating the look and feel of its peers,
especially considering the obviously low budget, but it's not a perfect
film: Basically, it takes itself way too seriously, doesn't always avoid
to go the kitsch road tackling its big themes of brotherhood and the like,
and seems a bit derivative at times.
The saving graces are many though:
The action is greatly handled, the film's non-linear narrative structure
makes the story seem fresh, director Yildirim has a definite talent for
creating atmosphere (not often found in action movies), and the sheer
ambition put into this movie seems infective.
In all, not a perfect
movie - but a very promising one!