Parents' Guide to

Do Not Disturb

By Jose Solis, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Pandemic-set drama has violence, language, drinking.

Movie NR 2023 114 minutes
Do Not Disturb movie poster: A man stands in a hallway

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Although many films have dealt with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, most have done it through allegories on grief, isolation, and the sudden reappraisal of life. Few have addressed the emotional and psychological aftermath of the pandemic as directly as the bittersweet Do Not Disturb. Beloved Turkish writer/actor/director Cem Yilmaz uses another allegory (a hotel as a microcosm) to deliver portraits of loneliness and the ways in which people have learned to cope with the "new normal."

Yilmaz plays Ayzek, a former ferry worker who takes on his new position as a hotel clerk on the night shift with the commitment of a captain trying to keep his ship afloat. Ayzek's empathy often disturbs his guests by interfering with their plans of harming themselves through self-pity and even suicide attempts. Yilmaz displays enormous generosity as a writer by giving the most touching lines to supporting characters, often turning the well-meaning Ayzek into a student of life, who learns life isn't all good nor all bad. Still, the film's shift from a dark comedy into a hopeless drama might be too much for viewers still reeling from the effects of a pandemic that's still ongoing.

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