A Day and a Half review: Engaging thriller has a lot of depth

A Day and a Half follows a hostage crisis involving a man who is desperate to reunite with his daughter, his wife, and a police officer. The film is now streaming on Netflix.


A man named Artan goes to a medical center to meet Louise, his estranged wife. As Louise is working, Artan is not allowed to meet her. Artan, who is getting impatient with every second, pulls out a gun and demands to see Louise.

When Louise comes out, Artan questions her about their daughter, Cassandra, at gunpoint. Artan wants nothing more than to meet his daughter. His previous attempt to discuss the situation with Louise failed, and now he is willing to do anything to see Cassandra, even if that means taking Louise hostage.

When the police arrive, Artan asks them to send one officer to talk to him. The National Task Force is hours away, so an officer named Lukas Malki goes to Artan unarmed. Artan wants the police to give him an unmarked car.

The police have no choice but to give Artan a car. He continues to hold his wife at gunpoint while Lukas drives them to Louise’s parents’ house, where Cassandra is living. As the story unfolds, it is revealed what led Artan and Louise to this point, and Artan is forced to make some difficult choices.

- Advertisement -


A Day and a Half is a film that relies heavily on its three lead characters for its success, and they do not disappoint. The camera constantly focuses on them to capture every single emotion, and the actors never falter.

Alexej Manvelov, who plays Artan, is angry and anxious at the same time. He goes from being a man who is determined to meet his child to a man who introspects and comes to realize where he went wrong. 

Then there is Alma Pöysti, who makes an impression, as her portrayal of Louise’s fear, helplessness, and hopelessness is incredible. Lastly, Fares Fares’s depiction of Lukas is layered. He switches between the role of a police officer and that of a man who is not unaffected by Artan’s story with ease.


From the very beginning, the director is able to create tension that stays until the end. Common sounds and visuals, like the ringing of the phone, the child screaming, the heat, and more, contribute to it. The thriller keeps the audience waiting for what is to come next. 

For the most part, the characters stay in the car, and their conversations are the focus of the film. Despite that, the film is engaging. Through these conversations, the film skillfully puts the three characters under a microscope and examines them. 

The film makes the audience feel for all three characters, even though they are all flawed and have made wrong choices. As their stories unfold, their motives become clear. They are then seen as human beings who have made mistakes, nothing more, nothing less.

Furthermore, it depicts the tragedy of the characters’ lives in a way that the audience will end up sympathizing with them, even the character holding a person hostage; they see him as a desperate parent, not a criminal. One sees the complexity of the situation and questions what they would have otherwise considered wrong.

Artan’s character is also used to depict the anxieties of immigrants. One’s ethnic identity defines whether their crime will be seen as an anomaly or as something that is standard, almost like it is expected of certain people.


The one problem that the audience could have with this film is its pace. A Day and a Half is a slow film with not a lot of action, and that is something that not everyone will enjoy. 


A Day and a Half is a well-made thriller that examines the characters in the film, their motives, and their actions. This story of flawed people is emotional and engaging.

A Day and a Half
A Day and a Half review: Engaging thriller has a lot of depth 1

Director: Fares Fares

Date Created: 2023-09-01 18:59

Editor's Rating:

Also read: A Day and a Half summary and ending explained