Idealist Nazim returns home to his family in Istanbul after a 15-year gap away teaching in a remote Kurdish village in eastern Turkey. Becoming a taxi driver he meets a single mother who ...
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Idealist Nazim returns home to his family in Istanbul after a 15-year gap away teaching in a remote Kurdish village in eastern Turkey. Becoming a taxi driver he meets a single mother who works in a sleazy club and becomes embroiled in her plight - a troublesome ex-husband who won't leave her alone - and starts to fall in love with her. Written by
As a person who has written a 100-page thesis on Turkish 'sinema,' I concur with populist sentiment that "Gonul Yarasi/Lovelorn" is an exceptional film. I think it tops "Eskiya/The Bandit" and now has to be considered Yavuz Turgul's best film. It is amazing to think that someone who first directed a Kemal Sunal (Turkey's closest equivalent to Jerry Lewis, alas Sunal is no longer with us) film in 1976 is among the masters of contemporary Turkish film. He has formed an excellent artistic partnership with Sener Sen, who is once as brilliant here he was in "Eskiya." And, enough words of praise can not be given to Meltem Cumbul. I loved her in "Propganda," loved her even more in Faith Akin's "Head-On," and this is a captivating performance here. I think the fact that her character is named Dunya, which means WORLD in English, hints that her character is a symbol for Turkey's acceptance into the outside world. Dunya's struggles and her bitter setbacks make me believe this might well be Turgul's intentions. I think her ex-husband, represents Turkey's modern state and Sen is a symbol of Turkey's once prosperous past. There is almost too much going on at once to concentrate fully on what is going on in the film! I think one thing which has been incorrectly cited as a flaw in this film is the melodrama element. I think this is such a central element to all Turkish films, whether they be the American film rip-offs of the '70s (Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam/Turkish Star Wars) or the great films of Yilmaz Guney, "Yol" and "Arkadas/The Friend," there is always that aspect of Turkish films. The notable exception seems to be the films of Zeki Demirkubuz and Nuri Bilge Ceylan, but both have stated they have been more influenced by Russian and French filmmakers, such as Tarkovsky and Bresson, than the likes of Guney or Atif Yilmaz, considered to be a pioneer of Turkish cinema- he directed in Sen in many films as well. But, "Gonul Yarasi" is splendid. It is well-edited, well-cast and well-directed. If a person knows nothing about Turkey or Turkish cinema, they may not fully appreciate this film, but I firmly feel that just about anyone who does will really like this film tremendously.
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