Film review: Plastic Dream (Plastik Rüya) is a brilliantly executed film on aging and beauty

Plastic Dream delves into the life of Belma (Nihal Yalçın), a woman nearing her 40s – an age dreaded by those living in our while not totally ruthless, but still highly sexist society.

Belma goes to a cosmetic dermatologist for dry skin problems, but she leaves with a whole new parasitic consciousness of her aging looks.

The phoney doctor’s comments on her fading facial features and suggestion of a myriad of cosmetic procedures stays with Belma for the rest of the day. She can’t help but examine herself in the mirror and let her husband’s (Salih Bademci) innocent comments get to her.

Before long she’s back at the doctor’s office getting botox on a whim. Instead of her life instantaneously turning into utopia, her face becomes a little bloated and her husband isn’t as ecstatic about her new face.

The facial swelling doesn’t go away though; it gets worse and worse to the point she resembles Notre Dame’s Quasimodo.

Spoiler alert….

Unbeknownst to her, she’s been tricked, like millions of people around the world, by a money-grabbing cosmetician. Her only option is getting a whole new face or staying with what she’s got. Either way, she can’t recognise herself in the mirror anymore. Her physical identity is erased.

Belma spirals into madness; is there really any hope left at the end of this nightmarish tunnel?

Merve Bozcu’s Plastic Dream, which featured in this year’s programme for Taste of Anatolia – Films From Turkey film festival, is a brilliantly executed film on aging and beauty. If you’re someone considering facial ‘rejuvenation’, this rare short film will make you roll your eyes as it rams home its message of the need for self-love and natural beauty.