6.4/10
776
3 user

Balalayka (2000)

On a misty morning, an old bus leaves Batum to go to Istanbul. As the bus stops at various places on the way, Russian women of all ages and professions, each with a unique tale, board. In ... See full summary »

Director:

Ali Özgentürk
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Cast

Credited cast:
Ugur Yücel Ugur Yücel ... Necati
Cem Davran Cem Davran ... Hasan
Yekaterina Rednikova ... Tanya
Ercan Yazgan Ercan Yazgan
Ozan Güven ... Mehmet (as Ozan Guven)
Atýlay Uluýsýk Atýlay Uluýsýk
Necdet Yakin Necdet Yakin
Iskender Bagcilar Iskender Bagcilar ... (as Ýskender Baðcýlar)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Burak Altay Burak Altay
Ata Benli Ata Benli ... Küçük Cevdet
Nadezhda Gorelova Nadezhda Gorelova
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Storyline

On a misty morning, an old bus leaves Batum to go to Istanbul. As the bus stops at various places on the way, Russian women of all ages and professions, each with a unique tale, board. In this bus full of women, there are three Turkish men. Three brothers who have come together after many years to carry their father's last wish... The eldest, Necati Bey (Ugur Yucel) views life through his father's eyes, Hasan (Cem Davran) is a sailor, the conqueror of open seas and women's hearts. The youngest, Mehmet (Ozan Guven) grew up with their mother in Germany and has much to learn about his brothers, life, and love. All these different characters and their outlooks on life intertwine. Passions flare and preconceptions are shattered as the disparate collection of passengers embark, at the same time, on a personal journey of discovery. A chain of irreversible events lead to heartbreak, tragedy, and enlightenment. It is a journey on a bus full of joy, sadness, love, and life itself. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Their characters, dreams, and passions were different. But they all are on the same journey.

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Turkey

Language:

Turkish

Release Date:

29 December 2000 (Turkey) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Asya Film,TMC Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kemal Sunal was to play Necati but following his sudden death prior to the shooting, Ugur Yücel was brought in to play that character. See more »

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User Reviews

Starts well, then falls apart; disappointing by the end
21 July 2001 | by erokaSee all my reviews

The film is about three Turkish brothers fulfilling their father's dying wish – to bring back the remains of his old buddy from Russia back to Turkey. This is just the premise to get the Turkish characters to take the bus home with the coffin. On that bus they will meet and fall in love with a bunch of Russian women who are making their way to Turkey, to work in prostitution. All THIS is contained in a flashback, which starts the movie, of one of these woman who ended up staying in Turkey.

The group of women is very diverse, and yet - a few of them seem to know Turkish rather well, which makes the situation seem contrived. In this respect the movie is quite silly to begin with and the transitions between the languages for the non-Russian and non-Turkish speaker may seem seamless, but they are one of the things that hurt the film's credibility. It's as if the whole setup was meant to create the situation – get 3 Turkish guys with a bunch of beautiful Russian women and get the story going from there, without taking into account at all almost any language barriers (they do exist in one couple's case though).

The gallery of characters is rather interesting, but it is never explained why the women are forced to work as prostitute in Turkey. The mafia people who handle their transport are mean people, sometimes depicted in a ridiculous way, especially when they demand that a woman who works for them and is helping her cousin to get to Turkey to get a new prosthesis will hand the poor girl to them as one of the prostitute. It's not even clear if the

act of bringing these women to Turkey is illegal or not.

Once the bus crosses the border and the band gets stuck is some hole in the mountains the story starts to fall apart, with numerous mistakes of continuity and plot. It just goes downhill from there till the silly and unconvincing ending. Individual characters are sketched rather well, but any character interactions after that tends to be simply dull, if not really stupid. I'll point this one as an example: All the women are intrigued by the oldest brother – a guy of 55 or so – instead of his rather handsome little brother of about 27. The character is a real bore and lacks any charisma that might have been included in the script.

As a whole, the movie is not a good one and does not get above 4/10. It's not a real bore though, so if you want to get some folklore you may get that in the bus scenes.


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