Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Hedefim Sensin (2018)

Zekeriya is a raw meatball server in Istanbul, who finds himself in hot water after his big mouth spoils what turns out to be a mafia business deal. He goes on the run, to the beautiful Aegean island of Gökçeada, unwittingly carrying a priceless antique coin. Zekeriya soon settles down on the island, despite some adversity, and makes many new friends. But trouble soon shows its ugly head, and he's soon on the run for his life again...

Hedefim Sensin (Locked on You) is a nice island adventure from Turkish comedian Ata Demirer. Starting off in a fast-paced way, it quickly settles down on its pretty setting, and gives us a fun cast of characters, through an enjoyable story.

The story here isn't the most original in the world, but not in a bad way. You'll probably guess each plot point that comes next, but it's presented in such a fun and vibrant way, which is the most important thing a movie can do. It also throws a few unexpected curveballs in there, mainly in the climax.

Filmed on location in Gökçeada, Hedefim Sensin brings out all the natural and rustic beauty of the island. We see the nice (if rocky!) beaches, the antique cobblestoned streets, the old-style buildings and all their pretty colours. Part Greek, part Turkish, it's a quintessentially Mediterranean island.

The comedy in Hedefim Sensin all works well. I like how the movie utilises modern technology/social media. It's done in a clever way, without feeling overdone or in-your-face (the virtual reality scene is a bit unbelievable, though inoffensive). There's a little drama too, and it balances well with everything else.

Zekeriya is a good protagonist. Hapless and anxiety-ridden over his whole misadventure, but also possessing a calm and funny streak, as well as being helpful (sometimes a little too helpful, like when he accidentally exposes Hasan's fleecing of a customer).

Half Hasan is a fun guy. At first he seems like a grungy dickhead, probably here to make Zekeriya's life difficult, but the two soon get along well, becoming real bros. Hasan is a would-be player, despite having a pretty wife at home. He also admires old cars, and westerns (even getting a funny Leone style fantasy sequence). He's at his best after discovering the mafia's presence on the island, and how this suddenly turns him into a nervous kitten.

The ladies are a nice bunch. Leyla is a likeable girl (even if she does smoke!), and makes some fun art. She and Zekeriya have a sweet budding relationship. Crotchety middle aged lady Hafize is one of the film's most important characters, and gets plenty of time to shine. She has a nice romance of her own with the visiting 'antiques dealer' Mr. Adnan, as well as a nice kinship with Zekeriya. What I especially liked was her briefly-shown connection with her little nephew. It doesn't add anything to the story, which is why I admire its inclusion so much. It's a little thing that helps flesh out the character, without conveniently being a major plot point. It's natural that way.

The mafia guys and their various underlings are fun, with Mr. Adnan's vapid daughters getting a few laughs.

The cast here give good performances. Ata Demirer is both anxious and goofy, while also sincere and romantic. Ilker Aksum is fun, with his fair share of exaggerated moments too. Demet Akbağ gives plenty of heart to the film, as well as comedy. Gonca Vuslateri (who reminded me of Katherine Parkinson) delivers a good performance, and has range as an actress when you compare the different roles she takes on.

The direction by Kıvanç Baruönü is great. He shoots the comic scenes well, knows how to frame shots, and he also brings out lots of natural beauty.

Hedefim Sensin is a fun time, and a good introduction to this comedian, and this type of local film...

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