An uninspired episodic survey of the life of one of the great men of history...
Turkish renaissance man Zülfü Livaneli ("Shahmaran" & "Iron Earth, Copper Sky") draws upon the reminiscences of Atatürk's lifelong friend and loyal ADC Salih Bozok for this sumptuous but shallow hagiographic retelling of the life of the Grey Wolf intended to restore Turkish pride in the wake of the more controversial biopic "Mustafa" by Can Dündar.
With Atatürk on his deathbed a despondent Salih Bozok (Serhat Kılıç) begins to relate the life of the Grey Wolf from their childhood together on the streets of their beloved Thessalonica and on through their military career to the foundation of the republic and the President's tumultuous relationships with Fikriye (Özge Özpirinçci) and Latife (Ezgi Mola).
The talented and prodigious Sinan Tuzcu ("Orada" and "Nefes") takes up the bulk of the screen time as Atatürk between the ages of 25 to 45 but is given very little to work with as the character is two-dimensionally rendered with no apparent emotional depth even when the actor is interacting with his own wife Dolunay Soysert as the Grey Wolf's mother.
Serhat Kılıç heads up the supporting cast as the narrator Salih Bozok but seems curiously absent for all the major events depicted while Özge Özpirinçci and Ezgi Mola are required to carry what little emotional content the film has as the competing love interests and Burhan Güven, Bartunç Akbaba and Kaan Olcay round things out as various incarnations of Atatürk.
The director deliberately sets out to avoid any perceived insult to the Turkish image of their founder and in this respect at least succeeds like any other uninspired hagiography with a loosely strung together episodic collection of supposedly inspiring well-worn incidents from the Grey Wolf's life which ultimately serve to give no true insight into the man himself.
"Unfortunately, words are not enough "
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