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Musa Uzunlar can't save cheap production, tepid screenplay
13 March 2010
Despite this having been released in theaters, Kurtlar Vadisi Gladio has the look and feel of a Kurtlar Vadisi Pusu episode. And just like with a typical episode, it runs for an hour and a half.

The main character here is Iskender Buyuk, the "villain" of the series. Polat, Memati and the rest of the gang are conspicuously absent. Unfortunately, they also left out a proper script. What you get is a glorified soap opera stuffed with "deep state" conspiracy theories based on the Gladio organization. None of the main characters are fleshed out, the action scenes are poorly edited and the "romance" between Iskender and Ayse is contrived and unnatural.

The only thing that made me watch it to the end and not turn it off, was Musa Uzunlar. Watching Uzunlar deliver those cheesy one liners in that husky voice is a great guilty pleasure.

I can't recommend this to anyone, other than Kurtlar Vadisi fans.
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Portrait of a lost childhood.
11 March 2010
Reha Erdem's "Korkuyorum Anne" is one of my favorite all time local films. Where that was brash and loud, "Hayat Var" is a slow placed and reflective piece reminiscent of Erdem previous effort "Bes Vakit".

Hayat is a pubescent girl who lives with her disconnected father and nagging grandfather in a modest home by a waterway. Her father is a "fisherman" who in fact, engages in small time smuggling and delivering prostitutes to ships on the Bosporus. Her mother who had left her father while he was doing military service, has now remarried. Hayat is lonely, her only real companion is a stuffed toy which plays "My only sunshine" at the push of a button. The irony is that Hayat despite her name ,seems to have missed out on life (ie. "hayat"). This is exemplified by the potent scene where she steals a pacifier, almost as if to re-live her infant days.

The story is told entirely from Hayat's perspective;the camera almost never leaves her, except to show us her father's escapades on his boat from a distance. The film is anchored by a wonderfully natural and confident performance by Elit Iscan. You feel sad for her most of the time and euphoric at the end when she breaks free and finally experiences happiness.

This is a simple yet very effective film. Highly recommended.
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Fluff, but entertaining fluff nonetheless.
10 February 2010
OK, I was dragged to watch this by my wife (a trade-off for when I forced her to sit through Yahsi Bati). Admittedly, it was a lot better than Cem Yilmaz's disaster and I did enjoy it.

In "Romantik Komedi", we have three girls living together. One is hopelessly trapped and pines for something new. Another is a ditzy partygirl who makes all kinds of crazy pronouncements. The most normal one of the three gets married and this causes the other two to rethink their life trajectories. They meet two men and fall in love, but then you have to have some complications thrown into the mix. This comes in the form of a not-so-nice lady who has her eyes set on one of the Prince Charming to-be's. Not a particularly revolutionary story, but its got charm, its cute and its quite witty. If you are into "Sex and the City", "Desperate Housewives" or anything like that, you'll love this.
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