Head-On Summary

Head-On Summary

Following the death of his wife, Cahit Tomruk has spiraled into a deep despondency made all the worse by the relief he fruitlessly attempts to harvest the abuse of cocaine and liquor. One night the world is far too much with this 40-something and nothing flowing through either the Turkish or German strain of his genetic makeup proves an adequate salve for dealing with it. So he climbs into his car and purposely drives head-on into a wall.

The fates do not seem to be on Cahit’s side as he manages to survive this attempt at bringing closure to his unhappy existence. Making matters worse, the suicide attempt lands him in a psych ward for observation. While there meets a woman named Sibel Guner with whom he shares not only his Turkish-German background, but an attempted suicide. It is Sibel who initiates their relationship by asking Cahit to take part in a legal and formally recognized marriage ceremony. The desire to marry him has far less to do with the rules of attraction than with the rules of children needing to rebel against their parents. Especially when those parents are strict conservatives. Although reluctant at first, Cahit finally comes arounds.

The rules are simple: although legally wed and living together, they will treat each other more as roommates which includes utterly independent sexual relationships. As such plans often do, this one goes awry as a result of the unexpected eventuality of falling in love. And, as such eventualities often do, this romance takes an unexpected turn for the worst when in a fit of jealousy, Cahit kills one of the men who used to be part of Sibel’s independent sex life.

After Cahit is sent to prison, Sibyl runs away from her family to Istanbul to stay with a cousin. Selma, the cousin, manages a hotel and promptly hires Sibel as a maid. Although hardly the same, Sibel’s life as a maid makes her feel every bit as imprisoned as Cahit. Finally, she escapes the oppressive atmosphere thanks to a bartender with an ample supply of drug and drink. One night when Sibel’s indulgence causes her to pass out the bartender takes the opportunity to rape her before throwing her out on the street. While left to her own on the streets, Sibel manipulates three men into assaulting her. When one of the men stabs her, they make their escape on the presumption of her death.

After serving his sentence, Cahit is released from prison and instantly makes his way to Istanbul where he assumes Sibel must still be. When he tries to find out from Selma what happened to his wife she is at first very resistant to provide any information, but finally admits that she is currently in a long-term relationship which has produced a daughter. After waiting in the hotel Sibel finally arrives to meet him and they soon make love. Cahit begs her to leave her life in Istanbul and run away with him. After finally agreeing, she makes her way back home to pack, but while doing so she suddenly hears her family returning home.

Meanwhile, Cahit is waiting patiently on a bus headed to the village of his birth, oblivious to the fact that Sibel is never going to show up now.

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