Ferzan Ozpetek. The sole name and the mere factor that drew me to watching Sacred Heart, and leaving any expectation or pre-conceived opinion behind.
Well, I was wrong. I couldn’t resist occupying myself with certain hope that Ozpetek will once again embrace gay-themed stories as he did superbly with Facing Windows and Hamam, the former being one of my favorites. Yet, as I patiently waited for a little under two hours and after Barbara Bobulova took her clothes off in a public train station, I knew that I was in for something else.
This time, Ozpetek removes his usual clout: women having trouble accepting the presence of gay characters in their lives. Instead, he crafts a character inside Bobulova who has to walk through an unbalanced bridge of being a good Samaritan and a corporate leader at the top of her game. Irene (played by Bobulova) is best considered as an example of many of us who often question our lives instead of being in contentment with whatever things we already posses. Thus, as briefly glimpsed above about her full-frontal nudity in a public place, our heroine reaches the peak of her emotional troubles by having a larger-than-life outburst. Again, a deviation from the director’s staple of leading ladies who’d rather oppress their conflicted minds, and making the films intriguing to watch.
Wait. By saying that, does it mean the film in spotlight here not as intriguing as the others?
Intriguing, maybe. After all, the theme of doing unconditional good deeds to others while walking a fine line of living a fabulous life is always interesting to watch. Yet, if Ozpetek’s others are still enjoyable to watch despite their heavy-weight drama, this time Ozpetek fails to create the same interest in his audience, particularly the writer here. By the time Irene does her wandering, we hardly care about her motivation, because Ozpetek presents her, or rather, clothing her with only an outer mantle that somehow discourage us to get further peek inside her skin. As such, Bobulova’s terrifying act reminds me of what Christian Bale did in The Machinist: suffering-for-art not supported with a convincing work of art, i.e. good films.
Thus, a token of remembrance in this film would likely to come from the nudity scene of Irene, which by now might be gone off to become overmentioned. But apart from that, there’s nothing much to tell. The same theme worked more effectively in a comedy like Mr. Deeds Goes To Washington apparently.