Been religious can be the most enlighting experience a person can feel bringing solace to a troubled person’s life. No matter if you have a faith or not, everyone has the right to practice a religion without prejudice but sadly recent events nationally and internationally have brought paranoia among people and in Five Minarets In New York it’s paranoia and prejudice towards Islam that is the basis of the film.
Split between Turkey and New York two Turkish anti-terrorist cops sent to New York to collect Hadji Gumas (Haluk Bilginer) who has fled to the USA with his wife (Gina Gershon) and daughter. Both are shocked at Hadji’s sudden arrest as well as clueless to why he’s arrested. As our 2 agents escort Hadji or Dajjal (Antichrist) as the Turkish police nickname him back to the airport they find their convoy comes under attack and Hadji is freed thanks to family friend Marcus (Danny Glover) who fears his friend will not face a fair trial back home. Our Agents find themselves held by Marcus and as time goes by they spend time with Hadji learning that he might not be as guilty as they believe he is.
Five Minarets In New York is the perfect example of don’t judge a film by its DVD cover as you’ll be severely disappointed. When you the actor who kicked ass with Predators (Glover) and a Terminator (Patrick) you will be expecting some form of quality but in this film don’t expect really any. Despite the promising opening which felt like a level from a Call Of Duty video game (only to be ruined by some poor cheap looking explosive CGI), the scene builds a high-level expectancy of a fast paced action packed thriller but what we get instead was a poor man’s 24 episode. The film lacks a villain figure but the true villain of this film is the bad half-hearted script which gets spoiled by sappy melodramatics, lacking in depth this feels altogether a very uninteresting, missing the whole point of the film exploring prejudice and America’s relations with Muslim countries post 9/11.
On a positive note Five Minarets In New York did show the power of faith in religion and how it could change someone’s life especially one of a criminal in the shape of Marcus (Glover) who becomes a peaceful man from a gang member thanks to Hadji. The film also highlights that sectarianism does exist outside Western religion as Hadji is married to a Catholic woman one of the reasons we learn why he fled Turkey. As for the acting majority, I would refer to as cardboard, one dimensional however the one positive in acting was one of the negative characters played by Robert Patrick who plays the all American red neck right wing racist who hates anything Islamic even his fellow Americans who are Muslim. Any recommendations for Five Minarets of New York? Yes, don’t waste your money on this one!
★1/2 | Paul Devine
Drama |Turkey, 2010 | 15 | 7th November 2011 (UK) | Showbox Entertainment |Dir: Mahsun Kirmizigül | Mahsun Kirmizigül, Haluk Bilginer, Danny Glover, Gina Gershon, Robert Patrick