Amsterdam to Anatolia (2019) Review: Adam Bakri-Clara Khoury’s Star Crossed Love Affair

Written and directed by Susan Youssef, Amsterdam to Anatolia is a 2019 narrative short film. The movie has Man Kit Lam as its executive producer and is commissioned by 21st Century Fox (The Walt Disney Company). Amsterdam to Anatolia (Short, 2019) stars Adam Bakri, Clara Khoury, Gideon Levy and Thamer Jendoubi. It secured a nomination under the Tanit d’Or category at the 2019 Carthage Film Festival. The short film has a quick runtime of six minutes.

– Netflix’s Amsterdam to Anatolia (2019) review does not contain spoilers –

Amsterdam to Anatolia starts with Marwan (played by Adam Bakri) and Elissa (played by Clara Khoury) on a romantic rendezvous. It is established from the first scene that our protagonists are star crossed lovers as Elissa is a married woman with an abusive husband and her relationship with Marwan is a forbidden love affair. However, the question of what is forbidden and what is not does not pop up until later in our minds, when we witness Marwan and Elissa go through a violent incident.

In less than six minutes writer-director Susan Youssef weaves a story that goes from being heartwarming to downright horrific to hopeful by the end. A lot of scenes are left to the audience for interpretation. For instance, the violence on screen is not explicitly displayed leaving it lingering in our minds to imagine the worst possible scenario for our couple. Even the ending of the film is a surreal jerk that can be either interpreted as a hopeful beginning for Marwan and Elissa or a speck of wistful dust running its fingers through the possibility of ever having a perfect love story.

We spend immensely less time with the actors on screen but, Adam Bakri and Clara Khoury are both convincing in their roles as Marwan and Elissa, respectively. The film’s album titled ‘Sari Gelin’ includes Arranged by Kamran Hooshmand, Performed by 1001 Nights Orchestra and Courtesy of Kamooli Recordings which assists the narrative beautifully.

Amsterdam to Anatolia: Final Verdict

The film is a unique take on forbidden love riddled with violence and unfulfilled dreams. It cuts off drastically at instances that might be to produce a curious and disturbing effect on the audience but actually comes off as rather unpolished. Apart from that, the story is surely something that will leave a mark on you.

You can watch Amsterdam to Anatolia, a 2019 short film now on Netflix.

Also Read: Voir Season 1 Review: David Fincher and David Prior’s Love Letter to Cinema

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Amsterdam to Anatolia is a short film on Netflix about a forbidden romance gone wrong.


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