Gönül Yarasi (2005) Poster

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Typical Yavuz Turgul movie (+budget, -subtlety)
ulnoyman13 January 2005
Gonul Yarasi is an above average movie in the tradition of classical Turkish drama. Idealist elementary school teacher Nazim (named after the great communist poet Nazim Hikmet) retires and returns home, Istanbul, after a 15 year term in the poor, forgotten Kurdish-Alevite village in Eastern Turkey. Politely ignored by his children who secretly despise him since he chose his ideal over his family long ago, he begins a new (night)life as a taxi driver. There he meets a fallen single mother who works as a "singer" in a sleazy night club. He takes the mother and her daugther in to protect them from the stalker ex-husband, falls in love with her, and the drama unfolds.

Yavuz Turgul, a master of storytelling, is not at his best, and the film cannot surpass his former masterpieces such as 'Eskiya' or 'Golge Oyunu' - though the movie is among the best of the season. Sener Sen, Meltem Cumbul and Guven Kirac give solid performances, but Timucin Esen proves outstanding with his portrayal of the multi-faceted, psychologically unstable ex-husband. The film, in the Yavuz Turgul tradition, inevitably ends with the tragedy-redemption-hope sequence.

Turgul likes to give subliminal social and political messages in his movies, but he is less subtle in this one.
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an excellent piece of cinema
crascea9 February 2008
The plot seems simple. A woman with her child who is unable to speak due to some psychological conditions, leaves the obsessive husband. She goes to the city and tries to stand on her own feet through singing in once popular traditional night clubs. Her husband comes after of course. Meanwhile an idealist teacher retires from the very east rural side of Turkey and returns home. He had a strong connection with his students and local people but interestingly not with his own kids, who were now grownups. As he's back, his old friends welcome him more sincerely. Consequently, teacher (the leading actor) takes the night shift of his close friend's taxi to make some money. One night he meets the runaway woman...

Script is astonishing. I would compare some of the monologues to Shakespeare at best. There is no reduction in the harmony. Consistency is seamless. The storyline captivates the viewer in such a soft way. All of a sudden you find yourself in between the lives of five characters; retired teacher, his son, his daughter, runaway woman and her husband. You can easily sympathize with all of them.

This movie depicts many conflicts innate to human nature. The characters are so well developed you might come across one of them anytime. If you are living in a sterile world, you might find it melodramatic. If you are searching for realism in symbolic elements, an emphasized full moon will ring your bell. The truth is, even an overly melodramatic and unrealistic story telling could be OK, cause the cinema is art, not necessarily documentary.

In the case of Gonul Yarasi, the movie has an intense texture, yet there is also a hopeful outlook. Just like hope and despair, fun and tears, fear and courage, idealism and realism and many other humanly concepts are balanced. The ending is an extraordinary summary of this manifestation in that sense.

Gonul Yarasi (Lovelorn) demonstrates all the qualities of cinema as an art. It is the best Turkish movie I have ever seen and one of the best among all. Awards are well earned... I would give 9-10 out of 10. And guess what, I did :)

I'd like to assume that the commentator who compared this movie to Mexican soap operas has never viewed anything from Hollywood
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wonderful Turkish masterpiece
gursel durusel31 January 2006
I think the movie is a masterpiece.Turkey's best actor Sener Sen acts wonderfully from beginning to the end and when the movie ends you thank him for the job he made.The movie is about a teacher working in east part of Turkey for several years and got used to life there.When he comes back to the place he was born it would be hard for him to get used to life again.He becomes to work as a taxi driver and meets a singer then his life would never be the same again.Wonderful scenario,actors filled into the roles perfectly,dramatic story and a different ending.I recommend this movie to everyone.Sener Sen is the rising star of Turkey and soon he should be rewarded with an award.
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An Excellent Picture
localdj200127 December 2005
I haven't seen many Turkish films, but this was great. The acting of Sen and Cumbul were impressive. A definite contender for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars of 2006. Anyone with intelligence and pluck should see this movie. Could win an award also at Cannes BAFTA , probably not at SAG. However its really good. Could help EU prospects of Turkey, for Europeans to see the culture in such powerful films. I have seen a few other films of Cumbul and Sen after this movie. The Turkish film called Propaganda was very impressive as well, nothing of coarse compared to this movie but still very impressive. This movie on the whole is quite dark, one has to honest. The other third protagonist of the film, dint know his name was also good, though his acting is overshadowed by the other two.
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Life does not end when you retire!!
burcubaris18 January 2006
A retired primary school teacher comes back to Istanbul, to his hometown, after so many years of urban area teaching. While his life, which he devoted to the education of poor students, seem to end, coming to Istanbul was just a new chapter. The movie is about this idealist primary school teacher's retirement days in Istanbul. However, you should not expect an old man's final day's type of movie. It is far away from being another "About Schmidt" style movie. There is love, disappointment, drama and comedy all entangled together in the same pot.

With Yavuz Turgul's directing and Sener Sen and Meltem Cumbul's acting, the movie is a candidate for being one of the best Turkish movies ever. It is full of emotions: not only an old man's feelings, but also, it is about about friendship, domestic relations, and being a parent. It is definitely touching (don't blame yourself if you can't hold your tears), especially the music selection and timing increases dramatic tone. Meltem Cumbul sang every song herself that made the movie more realistic. Even if you are not a 'turku-lover'(Turkish folk music), you will be moved with the soundtrack of the movie.

This is definitely a movie not to miss!!
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I want to see more from this director
johno-2131 January 2006
I saw this film at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and of the 35 films I saw there I might rank this as high as #3. I normally have a 90-120 minute time frame as ideal for films and coming in at 138 minutes I thought it may run a little too long but this movie was so good that I now want to see the the others that director Tugul has done and would definitely look forward to seeing more in the future. Meltem Cumbal is excellent in the lead actress role and Sener Sen is so believable in his role and really establishes himself as the centrist character of the film. I felt there could have been a little more development of the son and daughter to Nazim but I loved the character of the owner of Nazim's taxi. Loved the scene with the Kurdish musicians and was happy it included them doing a complete song and not just a brief shot of them on stage. I give this film an 8.5 and would recommend it.
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maybe not the best drama ever but a very good one
cubukcuali10 February 2005
Although it is an extreme drama and few such situations may exist, I bet there can be found such cases. And having that reality is the most dramatic part of the movie. Together with the performances of the experienced actors and actresses I think this film deserves an 8 or 9, if to consider it is not perfect.

There are some imperfections though, especially the full-moon scene, for a person who has been in Istanbul.

I should add that personally I liked this one more than "Eskiya", not only because of the important social and political messages in this movie, which gives a serious mood to the film, but also that the roles of the actors are distributed most suitably.
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What a wonderful film...
Genco Erdem28 January 2005
Yavuz Turgul's cinema has always been so kind to human's soul. The only comment that can be made for this film is: If there is sadness than there is always hope... Sener Sen (Turkey's best actor)is an idealist teacher who has never give enough care to his family, Devin Özgün Çinar(Sener Sen's daughter who has never seen enough care from her father), Meltem Cumbul (a singer who has problems with her psychologically unstable husband)and Timuçin Esen (husband of Meltem Cumbul) did an excellent work of acting. Soundtrack of film contains songs from some big singers of Turkish traditional music. Yavuz Turgul has a great observation talent and always uses this ability generously. I recommend this film everyone who liked Roberto Benigni's masterwork La vita è Bella...
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Very touching
alioglan7 October 2006
One of the best Turkish movies I've ever watched. Sener Sen, one of the greatest Turkish actors did not surprise me with the great performance and success but Meltem Cumbul really made me surprised. I used to think she was a all-in-one contemporary model but she proved shes also a good actress. She has tried her chance in many fields like singing, TV shows etc. She has singed perfectly in the movie but in fact she should act, not to do anything else. The movie is simple, with no hi-tech effects, no super models, no hip-hop etc.. its just people, telling you to turn back and see what is important in life, at all. Especially if you're living in a complicated country like Turkiye. Life is hard..
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An amazing contemporary Turkish film...
Tilly Gokbudak10 July 2006
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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never boring
rawkidd14 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
After having seen Sener Sen in Eskiya my expectations for Lovelorn were really high. The movie starts in a silent manner and makes you nosy about the forthcoming. The story and its eagerness rises as soon as Nazim finds himself in a family dispute. The change of Nazim's situation respectively feelings, from the helping citizen, to some kind of father figure and afterwards almost to this woman's lover is really interesting to observe. And the most killer-scene in this movie is, when the young woman asks Nazim, if there ain't a third way out of the messy situation before she leaves, in hope of Nazim saying, stay with me or be my woman or whatever.

All things considered Lovelorn took me in its spell as the story proceeds. It is a warm and realistic story, taken from life. Sener Sen is a great actor and he involves you in his twist.And Meltem Cumbul is remarkable.

Of course there are some little spoilers, like the scenes with that over-sized Fullmoon, but this doesn't really lowers Lovelorn's quality. I really can recommend this movie to everyone who is looking for a heart touching movie.
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a drama, your eyes will get wet, but not one of Turgul's best, I also bet.
kayabay31 January 2005
Gonul Yarasi is a bit an exaggerated drama with some flaws but it will sure get your eyes wet especially on the second half. The scenario consists of some unpleasant coincidences that makes it apart from the real world though. It could be more realistic and dramatic with the potential of the main idea. The cinematography also goes parallel and with unbelievable full moon scenes over Istanbul, sometimes says it is not the truth what we saw, but the truth told to make us believe. It is almost impossible to find a teacher sacrificing his whole life in lost Anatolian villages until he retires, and also impossible to find a man who neglects his own children with the love of others so deeply. Sener Sen is a very good choice for the main role and so is Meltem Cumbul at her peak in acting. But for me the best one in casting is Timucin Esen, who does his best in acting a portrayal that you almost believe what he really is. Guven Kirac with his modesty gives out a real performance too. If you leave yourself in Turgul's hands you won't regret for the eye drops, but for me a 7 out of 10 will be quite sufficient and I hope Turgul will be much better the next time if he holds the reality and dream hand to hand with a softer cinematography.
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no way
bt41038219 March 2006
I have seen this movie a few weeks before on DVD with my friends. Sener Sen is good as usual but he is not sufficient to save the movie... Poor eastern Turkish dialect of Meltem Cumbul and Timucin together is annoying. Microphone is visible on some scenes which i find very amateur. I can not understand how some other readers rated this movie as the best Turkish movie ever made. it might have been the best Turkish movie if Meltem and Timucin were replaced by more experienced actors/actresses because the subject is worth the attention. I am sad to say that the story is wasted by poor co-stars, poor technique. But if you don't care about these, you can spend your time watching Sener Sen only.
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wonderful soundtrack, shower of tears
Cagri Ozturk17 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Gonul Yarasi begins with sketches from three different lives, and moves on to unite them with frequent references to fate. Fate as the axis of the movie makes it hard for the scenario to follow the laws of physics always, especially given the obvious weaknesses in the script and some conversations. For instance, what did Nazim, the main character, with all the salaries he earned as a teacher, that he has to work as a taxi driver when he retires? Yet don't let such holes in the scenario bother you and drift into the flow of the events, and listen the wonderful soundtrack, you will soon be in tears. Movie's zenith comes when Nazim and his daughter "talk" to each other.
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good movie for Turkish people only,universal cinema language missing
filizyarimcan25 January 2005
Gonul Yarasi is good if you want to cry,if you want to feel sorry about the life you live.To be in this mood is typical for Turkish.We are the people who sometimes we think ourselves as the greatest nation in the world or more commonly the worst one.So the movie is for Turkish people's entertainment only.As a movie,it contains nothing specific,nothing real good. I think that if somebody cannot understand many things,very Turkish specific things,he cannot like the movie.For example,why Dünya never says Nazim she likes/loves him.For example,all this leftist things,the name Nazim,Piraye... As in previous Eskiya,for me the most exiting thing was to see the places I normally live at the screen.This actually shows that the film is no good.
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Colorful melodrama set in contemporary Istanbul
roland-10417 October 2006
A lengthy, colorful melodrama, "Lovelorn" is Turkey's entry for a best foreign film Oscar next year. Nazim (Sener Sen) returns to Istanbul after 15 years serving as a teacher in a Kurdish village in the southeast. A cousin gets him work as a cab driver, and in that capacity he meets Dünya (Meltem Cumbul), a gorgeous nightclub singer whom you just know is surrounded by trouble. Sure enough, her estranged and sometimes violent young husband shows up, demanding that Dünya turn over their daughter to him. Nazim finds himself smack in the middle of this mess, trying to protect the woman and daughter while in the process risking his own neck while provoking romantic gossip among his buddies.

This film reminds me of the better Mexican TV soap operas, though the acting and cinematography are of higher quality. Regarding the Kurdish situation in Turkey, I prefer Handan Ipekci's sophisticated 2003 film, "Hejar," about a courtly, aging judge in Istanbul who finds himself in charge of a Kurdish child. As for action-packed melodrama, I am partial to Faith Akin's German/Turkish film, "Head-On" (2004): a raw, gritty love story about Turkish immigrants in Germany. (In Turkish & Kurdish) My grades: 7/10 (B) (Seen at the Idaho International Film Festival, 10/01/06)
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You must see this movie.
ocenkg21 January 2007
Gonul Yarasi (Lovelorn) is the latest movie of Yavuz Turgul, one of the leading directors in modern Turkish movie industry.Turgul has always exhibited tendency to take the movies of people shattered by urbanisation, individualisation and alienation.This movie is one of the best examples of how people with their commitment to their values can still survive all hardships surrounding them.I found the movie quite successful.However, Turgul must have paid more attention to both the characters of Dunya (Meltem Cumbul) and Halil (Timucin Esen). Cumbul can not really make you feel that she plays a character of Eastern Anatolian origin.Esen is not successful in his role owing to both his physical appearance and the way he acts.I think the major responsibility fell on Nazim (Sener SEN) as he has acted his role successfully. The movie is the based upon losers.I believe you will find so many things from your life be you are Turkish or not.
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Could not be better
Didem Bilgin31 March 2006
When I watched this movie first time, it affected me with a shock. This is by far the best movie that I have ever seen, really touches your soul.

The dialogs and of course the songs in the movie are brilliant.

I was impressed by the power of Sener Sen's, Meltem Cumbul's performance once more and of course by Timucin Esen although I saw him for the first time on the scene. Timucin Esen was a brilliant choice for this role.

At the very beginning of the movie, you are being surrounded with full of emotions and you start to live with them and then try to find a solution to help Dunya, Nazim and Halil. What a magnificent movie it was !!!
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The Turkish version of "Enough"
buktel26 January 2007
Sener Sen is perfect. Meltem Cumbul plays not her film character but a crafty player playing her character. Timucin Esen is perfect. Director Yavuz Turgul's story seems like borrowed from Michael Apted's "Enough" (which starred Jennifer Lopez and script of which is written by Nicholas Kazan). Both "Gonul Yarasi" and "Enough" have the same storyline, in which an oppressed woman ill treated by her psychopathic husband runs away from him taking her (and his) child with her.

It may be said that there is no part for Sener Sen in "Enough". Well, there is no need for the part of Sener Sen in "Gonul Yarasi", either. Everything told and shown about the character Sen plays is just secondary and does not support the main plot of Gonul Yarasi. Yavuz Turgul could easily omit Sen's character from the story and better focus his camera on Cumbul and Esen relation. In that case, the character of Sümer Tilmaç would get a little larger and deeper and could include (only when necessary) Sen's part, too.

Although the name of Sener Sen is written on the top of the cast, although the camera sees him more frequently than any other character; "Gonul Yarasi" is essentially Cumbul's and Esen's story (the implied love between Sen and Cumbul is just a rifle which never fires in the story) and Sener Sen is just a helpless witness in it, unable to do anything to change the course and the finale of the main plot which is also the main plot of "Enough".

But in order to make justice towards Turgul, we must declare that despite the flaws of the plot (for example, the psychopathic husband wouldn't tolerate for one moment Sen's giving Cumbul shelter at his home and living together with her under the same roof) "Gonul Yarasi" is much better a film than "Enough" in many ways including credibility and artistic quality. COSKUN BUKTEL
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sadweqjr23 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Turkish movie "Gonul Yarasi" (Lovelorn) has been named as the best film at the International Queens Film Festival in New York on Sunday.

The movie had been nominated both for the Best Film and Best Foreign Language Film Awards at the festival.

Lovelorn, produced by Mine Vargi, Omer Vargi, Mustafa Oguz, won the best film award at the International Queen Film Festival held on November 17-20.

The film, nominated for Best Foreign Film Oscar Award, was shown in the French Institute as part of the Queens Film Festival in New York on Saturday.
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Probably the best Turkish movie ever made
Burak-O-Boran25 January 2006
This is actually the third movie of a trilogy, all written and directed by Yavuz Turgul and acted by Sener Sen. The first one was "Muhsin Bey" and the second one was "Eskiya". The common plot to all three is human relations and emotions. I don't just mean love by emotions, but a great range of feelings from dedication of a life to an ideal to friendship or parenthood. I adored the previous ones, but this is something different. It catches something from very deep inside and you just loose your control. I wept throughout the movie. However it's not a sad movie, but intensely emotional. The movie is now running for the Oscar. Only concern I had about the movie was, it was too Turkish, the people, the events and the dialogs. I was afraid that it may mean nothing to a non-Turkish person. But when I read that Woody Harrelson has also cried when he watched the movie at Golden Orange Film Festival in Antalya, I once again understood that, human emotions are universal.
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