Monday, July 26, 2021

Tatlı Bela (2018)

The concept of three bachelors being unexpectedly saddled with a baby is a pretty common one in cinema, for good reason. It can make for great storytelling! Naturally the Turks don't like to be left out of anything, so sure enough they've tried their hand at a fair few things over the years, all with their own unique touch. Such as today's movie, Tatlı Bela, aka Tiny/Sweet Trouble...

Arda, Erdem and Fırat are three friends, close as brothers, who all live together, and hand out in Arda's restaurant. One day their waitress Zeynep sees a suspicious man, and filled with terror she drops her baby off at the boys' doorstep and flees. Not knowing where this infant suddenly came from, the trio are in for a tough time getting used to little Ela's presence, changing their outlooks, and coping with all the disasters that can occur...

Tatlı Bela is a short and sweet movie. It has a small cast of characters, who are all well-rounded and fun to watch. The story is pretty common, but it never feels played out here, and regardless of whether or not you see everything coming, it's still enjoyable to experience. The humourous and serious moments play off very well, and the film never feels tonally awkward. The climax is just the right level of serious, and has a great resolution, leading to a cute flashforward ending.

The trio here are fun protagonists, each standing out in different ways, from the levelheaded but lovestruck Arda, the womanising Erdem, and the cripplingly shy Fırat. They interact well with each-other, and with little Ela, resulting in many cute moments.

I liked that with each of the characters there was something interesting. For example, Erdem is the most immature and flippant of the three, yet he's also an architect! He's got the most professional and important job our of all of them! And while Fırat is a normally meek and unassuming guy, he's the one to fight the main baddie at the end, singlehanded! I really appreciated him getting that victory.

The romances in Tatlı Bela are where it gets the cheesiest. The funniest point is when Ardem first meets Seren, and no sooner than he simply opens the door, it's already love at first sight! It's ridiculous, but funny. I also found it weird how Erdem and Zeynep are suddenly an item by the end, but I do get it. It needed to happen, and they're the only people left without partners by the end, so it's a natural fit, but I just wish it hadn't come so out of nowhere. As far as chemistry and believability go, the pairings all work well. Even though they each might have their rushed or goofier sides, there's nothing to complain about.

The actors all do fine jobs. The main trio are distinct and funny, and the same goes for all the women. even the ones with less screentime still manage to leave an impression. Something I noticed is that a few of the actors resemble famous international celebs. For example Arda resembled Travis Fimmel, Fırat kinda reminded me of Charlie Day, and Seren looks like someone who's name I can't place. Lastly, the young actress playing little baby Ela is also cute as a button!

Tatlı Bela is a great time, and well worth a watch. It definitely feels like an entry-level Turkish comedy. It has little of the melodrama that others have, and a storyline that could be considered 'playing it safe', but none of this is bad, simply making it an easier watch for foreigners. So there's no excuse not to check it out!...

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