K’s review published on Letterboxd:
Sometimes looking at a cover will give you a specific feeling about a movie. I first saw this on the shelf of the video rental store in my city years ago and didn't think much, as there was much more outlandish Indonesian fare on either side of it calling to me.
Years later, when I started doing cataloging work for said rental store, I saw it on a shift and felt my stomach drop. The cover inspired a new dread that I could finally realize. I made a point to rent it that night and see what it was all about, not knowing what to really expect.
I was brutalized. The internal conflict of Tonya, grappling with her sexual desire and punishing herself for it felt all too raw. Selda felt like the dual side of a coin to Tonya, having moved away from their rural village and experienced a more "westernized", indulgent life. Both of them compete for the attention of one man, and it felt so much like every time I've both wanted someone and hated myself for feeling any kind of lust. It served as a warning sign, that letting those feelings become smothered and buried over time will eat away at you as a person and drive you to near madness (while also conversely demonstrating that throwing yourself headfirst into hedonism does no favors). There is a dread coursing through the whole film, and the ending left me hollow.