Having just seen it tonight, my initial reaction is much more positive than this although, I think, many of the points you make are valid! Undoubtedly, this is not as good a film as the sublime Uzak and undoubtedly for all the brilliance on display ultimately the film feels a little insubstantial (strangely managing to be simultaneously moving and trite). I still feel, though, that you'd be hard pushed to name many better films in the coming months!Climates is my most anticipated film of the year. Perhaps I mounted so high with my expectation, and the only feasible outcome was to fall low with disappointment.
As you must have read in many places, the first season is absolutely stunning, but then Ceylan executes an abrupt shift in tone and rhythm for the second season. The beautiful mise-en-scene gets replaced by verbal excess and an overwhelming number of shots with people (mostly Ceylan himself) grining at the camera. The contemplative tone is overrun by a sudden and baffling necessity for plot. Nevertheless, the purpose of these deviations becomes clear in the final season, which is probably why some people could forgive the strangeness of the middle section. I, however, can't. The narrative gamble for me simply doesn't pay off.
Like some reviewers wrote, Ceylan tries to portray a universal situation. By doing so, the film becomes overly vague, abstract, and somewhat thoughtless. There's nothing here that we haven't seen before. One could gain more by re-watching La Notte and Eyes Wide Shut. The brief episode with the photographer's wife in Uzak is actually more thoughtful than Climates.
A lot of people claim that this is the best-shot film of the year, but save for the first season, I cannot find anything exciting in the remaining hour. What serviced so much in Uzak looks like recycled film stock here. Finally, there's a blatant homage to Antonioni in the last shot. I am sure it's impressive to some people, but to me, it's "what the fuck!"
Let me know if I should have kept silent.
I don't share your view that the film's middle section was verbose - there was a change of pace and style but this suited the subject matter and the location (after all the more languid first and third sections take place away from the hustle of Istanbul).
Ultimately, though, Franco I am not going to argue with you essentially because I think that you are right in much of what you say. My reaction was simply not as polarised as yours...
For those of you who haven't seen it is an interesting and mature film (such a rare quality...) that is very much worth a look...