Monday, 25 July 2016

MOVIE MONDAY - BIR ÇOCUK SEVDIM

“Vulnerability is the essence of romance. It’s the art of being uncalculated, the willingness to look foolish, the courage to say, ‘This is me, and I’m interested in you enough to show you my flaws with the hope that you may embrace me for all that I am but, more important, all that I am not.’ ” Ashton Kutcher

We have finished watching a 2011 Turkish TV series called “Bir Çocuk Sevdim” (literally “A Child I Loved”, but it could be also interpreted “A Girl I Loved” or “A Boy I Loved”). This was a well-produced and well-acted show with a host of talented stars and supporting cast. There were veteran actors like Çetin Tekindor and Bülent Inal, but also new talents like Gulcan Arslan making her TV debut in the starring role and Hakan Kurtas, the young male lead. We particularly enjoyed the performance of Sefika Tolun as the mother, Arzu Gamze Kilinç as the politically active aunt, Onuryay Evrentan as the psychologically challenged sister and the very talented youngster Ilayda Alisan. The series is set in Istanbul and there are many gorgeous external shots of this beautiful city making for some memorable scenes.

The plot is familiar enough for watchers of TV soaps, but there are several interesting subplots, which are developed well. The unfortunate thing about it is that the series finished abruptly (presumably because the plug was pulled) and the last episode finishes with a couple of cliff-hangers that are not resolved. Despite of its good quality of production and acting, the ratings must not have been high enough, or I wonder if the political subplot was one of the reasons that it was stopped…

In a nutshell, this is what it’s about: Turan (Çetin Tekindor) and Esmahan (Sefika Tolun) have three children: Emine the unmarried oldest daughter (Onuryay Evrentan), Erdal, a silly son (Ulas Torun) and Mine, the younger daughter (Gulcan Arslan) who is beautiful, clever and romantic. They seem to have a happy lower middle class family, notwithstanding some issues arising from Emine being jealous of Mine and being unable to get married. Mine is in love with Sinan (Hakan Kurtas), a young man from a rich family. Mine gets pregnant with Sinan’s baby and his parents send him away to the USA before he finds out about it, while Mine thinks he has abandoned her. Although Sinan tries to contact Mine, Emine scuttles this attempt.

Mine’s father is furious with his young daughter and conscious of the family’s reputation confines her to her room. His boss, the successful car dealer Timur (Bülent Inal) falls in love with Mine and proposes marriage, promising to look after her and the baby and telling Mine he does not expect her to share his bed. She accepts and she moves into his house having a separate locked bedroom. Timur has a teenage daughter, Merve (Ilayda Alisan) who resents Mine moving in and who proceeds to make life difficult for her.

The two important subplots centre on Mine’s aunt Sureya (Arzu Gamze Kilinç) who has lost her political insurgent husband after he was arrested for anti-government activities, and Emine the older sister who everyone takes for granted and acts like a spinster. Sureya’s search for her husband (or his grave) raises the issue of political freedom in Turkey and this may not have made the series too popular with government agencies. Emine’s transformation from a “spinster” to a predatory “vamp” is quite interesting to watch, and she plays the psychologically disturbed woman magnificently. A third thread in the plot follows the relationship of Mine’s father and mother and how they fare with the strains of having to deal with Mine’s (and Emine’s!) lapses from “socially acceptable” behaviour.

The Ibsen triangle of Mine, Timur and Sinan is interesting to observe, as is Mine’s transformation from a simple, romantic young girl into a mature, realistic and deeper thinking woman. Sinan, as the victim of a plot to foil his love and separate him from his son, is perhaps the most innocent of all the characters, but he remains relatively immature and perhaps the most devoted to the ideals of romantic first love. Timur as the worldly older man who nevertheless is not only in love, but loves Mine, will stop at nothing to ensure her happiness. He nevertheless does believe in the maxim “all’s fair in love and war”.

We enjoyed watching this series but the last (78th) episode was a little disappointing in that it prepared the ground for a second season that was never made. As I have written here previously, the Turkish TV series industry is fiercely competitive and the rating system is uncompromising as to dictating the fate of the shows that progress to multi-season hits.

2 comments:

  1. But there is a scene where Mine is getting married to Timur. She is dressed in white and they both are very happy. Is this season 2?

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  2. As far as I know it ends with their wedding and Merve's mum ( which we never see her identity) walking in the moment Timur is about to say "yes". Super disappointed to end here. It fet as a cliffhanger but there is no second season.
    It should be warned whwn you start seeing it. Its a great story nonetheless.

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