Deniz Aslim, Gizem Aybike Shahin, Mehmet Samer, Jevahir Jashgir
Tofiq Rzayev, Erdogan Ulgur
"The Girl in the Woods" is a Strong Effort From Tofiq Rzayev
Based upon an original English screenplay called "Find Me," Tofiq Rzayev's 24-minute short film The Girl in the Woods was translated into Turkish and turned into this screenplay by Rzayev and Erdogan Ulgur.
In the film, Mert (Deniz Aslim) and Ceren (Gizem Aybike Sahin) become increasingly more concerned about Ali, who has disappeared having sent only a mysterious text "Find Me." Mert heads out to see a friend of theirs followed by looking for Ali in the woods where he meets a mysterious woman in a white dress (Jevahir Jashgir), an enigmatic woman throughout the film until Rzayev decides we can learn more about her.
The Girl in the Woods is a beautiful film to behold with yet another delightful original score from Gergo Elekes and Rzayev's own atmospheric, almost meditative lensing. Among the key players, Jashgir, in particular, is stellar with a performance that radiates mystery and truth.
Rzayev and Ulgur's screenplay is thought-provoking and emotionally resonant yet subtle in the way it unfolds. Rzayev doesn't show his hand too quickly and allows the audience to become enveloped by the story and its characters. It's clearly not a paint-by-numbers story, but a story that Rzayev and Ulgur have lived in and allowed time to breathe and grow. The result is a film that feels completely immersive even within the relatively short span of a nearly 25-minute film.
While the story is involving, rest assured that there's much more going on within The Girl in the Woods than it might initially seem. As you finish watching the film, you'll find yourself wanting to watch it again just so you can soak it all in and try to immerse yourself in what this mysterious girl is really and truly telling us.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic