My guest today lives in London, has a voice that sounds just like Lady Mary from Downton Abbey, speaks seven languages, has vistited Kas where Hadi be Oglum was filmed, and... LOVES Kivanç Tatlitug!
Welcome Nahid Akhtar!
Nahid was determined to watch Hadi be Oglum with English subtitles at one of the handful of theaters in the UK showing it. So on a nippy day in February, she travelled to a cinema four hours away, and then waited another two hours (in the cold) before she finally watched Kivanç in a theater whose heat wasn't working. Thank you, Nahid, for bravely enduring the chill and for sharing your review with us!
Let's get right to it, then I'll tell you more about Nahid and her venture to Kas.
Review of Hadi be Oglum by Nahid Akhtar
Imagine how you feel after you've been fasting and then take the first sip of your favourite drink. This is how I felt when watching Hadi be Oglum - sated and calm. From the first opening scene your soul is engaged, quite frequently pierced, but ultimately soothed by the end.
Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ (Ali) carries the movie with excellent supporting performances from Yücel
Erten (Captain Ali, Senior), a grandmother substitute Yıldız Kültür (Guner) and of course Alihan Türkdemir (Efe). The pace is super fast as compared to a Turkish serial episode, but otherwise it's reasonably slow, which I personally very much enjoyed. It could erroneously be prone to being perceived as snail-pace in narration. If you have watched the French movies, Amour (2012) or Être et avoir (2002) you are likely to find some similarities in acting styles, context, visuals, focus in exploring emotions - which superbly exploited the strengths of Kıvanç.
Ali (Kivanç) spends most of the movie in a state of distress, puffing his way through countless cigarettes, but supported by a tight-knit community in a small fishing village. He's the most stylish fisherman, looking as if he's just stepped off a yacht in Cannes that belies his simple roots and debt-ridden boat!
He is most convincing as Ali during a pivotal tragic scene, where his hair colour goes from 'Californian blonde' to grief-stricken brown, unshaven and unkempt. Ali comes into his own then, and you so feel his pain from his acting. That for me is when Kıvanç broke through and became the character.
Throughout the movie, Ali makes you believe his lack of self worth, which will pull your heartstrings, especially as you can see through his false bravado. In a scene where he is in high society, his gait changes, he shuffles, he's uncertain, and almost bowing in deference. You feel how uncomfortable he feels, to the point you almost squirm in your own seat. That is superb acting. There's a scene in which Ali is just pure Kuzey. I laughed out because I think that's just a Kıvanç response!
Captain Ali Senior has witty retorts and brings a comedy element into the drama. He comes across as a superb father figure, forgiving, giving and gentle despite the gruffness portrayed. You can see his strong values passed onto his son Ali.
Guner, the resident 'grandmother' figure in the village, delivers the most sobering dialogues. I love her portrayal. Her style reminded me very much of Vanessa Redgrave in Atonement (2007). She's strict, prescriptive and channels the headstrong Ali into the correct direction. She's dignified
and non-judgmental in her interactions - a beautiful character.
Efe conveys well the cause he is bringing attention to. He was convincing in his self absorption, the frustration this brings to parents and their subsequent feelings of despair.
Leyla (Efe's mother) is non descriptive for me. Whether by design or nature, her brief 'blink and you'll miss it' entry jarred and didn't flow smoothly in line with the rest of the movie. She fulfilled her 'purpose', but in my view anyone could have filled her shoes.
The accompanying musical score is blended immaculately with no frightful noises offensive to the ears. There were lots of sunset scenes showing the fishing village (Kas) at its best, surrounding islands and expanses of sea. Having visited the location myself, it would have been lovely to see some other views of the village to encourage tourism to the area.
In conclusion, Hadi be Oglum is melancholic, thought provoking, and ultimately succeeds in demonstrating the sayings of a great mind: "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
I nearly died of hypothermia on that cold February day, but I was so excited to see Kivanc in combination with Kas, that I would have travelled back if that was the only place to watch it!
More about Nahid:
Nahid was born in Pakistan and moved to England when she was eight but has lived in Copenhagen, Oslo, Barcelona, New York, and Zurich. She speaks French, Spanish, English, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, and some Norwegian. She now lives in London where she's a Principle Consultant in IT and travels all over the world.
She first encountered Kivanc last February when she stumbled onto Kurt Seyit ve Sura on Netflix. "My job and traveling keep me very busy and I rarely have time for television. But I love period drama, and I happened to be home sick when I discovered Kurt Seyit ve Sura. From the first episode, the acting, costumes, cinematography - everything held me captive. I watched the whole series in a matter of days."
When she learned Hadi be Oglum was going to be filmed in Kas, Turkey, she recruited her sister to join her on a 'road trip.' Unfortunately they didn't see Kivanc, but they enjoyed the lovely fishing community with its brightly coloured buildings, friendly people, and beautiful scenery.
How do I know Nahid sounds just like Lady Mary from Downton Abbey? I called her through Facebook and immediately knew her voice sounded familiar. When she told me she loved period drama, the lightbulb went on--Lady Mary!
Thank you, Nahid Akhtar, for sharing your review of Hadi be Oglum!
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