'Heartsong' review: This Turkish Netflix movie is an endearing romcom with terrific chemistry

The sensibilities are similar to those of commercial Indian cinema, and yet, here, the treatment is never over the top.

Published: 21st August 2022 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th August 2022 07:49 PM   |  A+A-

Turkish Netflix movie, 'Heartsong'

Turkish Netflix movie, 'Heartsong'

Express News Service

Despite a soap opera-like story, Heartsong, the new Turkish romantic comedy on Netflix, feels like a breath of fresh air. The film’s appeal comes from its simplistic beauty and true-to-life performances by the cast. This is especially true of Hazar Ergüçlü’s radiant performance as Sümbül, in much of this Soner Caner film.

The subplots, be it the romantic obsession of Piroz’s (Erkan Kolçak Köstendil) father, Mirze (Bülent Emin Yarar), or the local shaman who’s constantly berated for being a fraud, evoke a strong sense of community. Set in the remote Turkish countryside, the film follows the story of a nomadic group of musicians led by the likeable Piroz.

A catchy Turkish ditty on Piroz’s lips proves to win the interest of Sümbül, a bride-to-be, who responds with her own rendition of the song. Her wedding ceremony begins nevertheless, with Sümbül quickly getting ridiculed for being ‘impure’ and both sides getting into fisticuffs. Piroz, by this time, is smitten, vowing to return for her.

Meanwhile, the disgraced groom-to-be takes Sümbül to her father, who for his part, plans to have her killed. Sounds like the plot of an Indian drama, right?

The sensibilities are similar to those of commercial Indian cinema, and yet, here, the treatment is never over the top. It’s a grand love story set in modest circumstances, and the love for the fellow human really comes through.

There’s a lot happening, including elopement, revenge and, of course, romance, and all within a goofy premise. The writing is great, and so are the performances, which communicate the innocence in us all. The music ably mirrors this innocence and the feeling of belonging and companionship that the film is based on. Mirza's bittersweet longing for an imaginary Dilo is another subtle nod to the idea of companionship we all seek.

Heartsong’s success lies in how it keeps things light—and to this end, all the folk music becomes pivotal, particularly in scenes involving grief. Erkan Kolçak Köstendil and Hazar Ergüçlü communicate this endearing romance with terrific chemistry. It’s hard not to root for the couple they play, even though the challenges their relationship is up against may not be the most novel—especially for us who have been raised in Indian cinema.                                                                                                                     


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