This is a first feature film and its concept is brilliant. It subverts itself effortlessly and is never quite the film you think it is. It manages a switch of perspective halfway through which I didn't notice initially. What also makes the film remarkable for me is when you re-watch it you see a quite different film, as the twist that is so surprising on first viewing, is written cleverly though each preceding scene. A true tour-de-force by the writer.
There are a few problems outside of the plotting and script though. The DVD has subtitles but you have to find them using your subtitle button otherwise the film plays without them. The picture quality of the DVD is pretty poor to - I'm not sure if that's the directors intent or just a really poor transfer. Also it isn't a particularly 'gay' movie so although it has a smouldering same sex plot-line it doesn't live up to the expectations that its publicity & the idea of a 'hamam' might arouse.
The director clearly loves Italians, Filipino maids, Turkish working people and even unscrupulous middle men and particularly the gentle eroticism of the hamams. There is an obvious 'orientalism' underlying the plot that some may find disagreeable. However in scene by scene it feels like a non-judgmental journey into people's lives as they seek to survive and blossom in a harsh world. It's an honest and moving film full of delightful touches and a respect for life and love.