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Photo: ‘Sen Yaşamaya Bak’
Hearts are an odd thing to affect; so much emotion and power are held within them. When Cinema has the beautiful power to impact this large organ of ours through techniques of storytelling (both visually and through simple writing), it showcases itself to be a justifiable part of true entertainment for us as humans to experience. Such is when the ultimate feeling of nostalgia is conveyed through a means of a mixture of two varying elements: childhood and love.
This magical combination is prevalent in the recent Turkish Netflix original melodrama ‘In Good Hands’; where the plot couples tragedy with the relatability comedic element of being a young, entirely clueless child, while also including the aspect of finding a romantic partner. On top of this, rather absurd events unfold themselves as the characters move forward into the journey that the filmmakers have set up for them to go on.
Attempting To Find The Right Hands
Directed by Ketche, ‘In Good Hands’ is mainly a character-driven story as opposed to being a plot-driven one. The story follows Melisa (Asli Enver), a single mother who is suddenly told one day that she has a terminal illness that only allows her to have five months to live. After finding out the news, Melisa doesn’t tell her son, Can (Mert Ege Ak) due to not having the heart to tell him. They’re both entirely inseparable from each other, and it’s because of this that Melisa realizes that she has to set out to find a proper guardian for her son when the tragic inevitability of her death comes to be.
Along the way, there are people around Melisa that care about her and want to take care of Can (such as her close friend, Fatos (Ezgi Senler)); but for reasons unknown, Melisa doesn’t accept the offer. However, one day, Melisa meets a man named Firat (Kaan Urgancioglu) who she rather dislikes at first; but who she also can’t seem to stop bumping into. The two eventually become closer, Firat turning more endearing towards Can and leading us as the audience to think that maybe this is just the right guardian to take care of Melisa’s son after she tragically passes away.
The plot of the story is a simple one, and as I mentioned before, it’s more or so character-driven; which isn’t always a bad thing. We get the opportunity to love the characters in this story even more; even if, admittedly, their actions edge on the verge of being rather absurd than relatable. On the other hand, however, I still found a piece of myself in some way or another in both Melisa and Can. There’s utter sadness in keeping secrets from those close to you, especially when they have anything to do with your health; and Melisa’s understanding that if she told her son, who seemingly finds it hard to be physically away from her majority of the time, that she was soon to be dead it wouldn’t fair well for him.
While this film may sound like a cliche melodrama, adding on the aspect of romance makes ‘In Good Hands’ incredibly interesting in some sense. Rom-coms mixed in with death isn’t the most uncommon way to create an intriguing film; but when you involve the element of the potential bachelor/bachelorette to become a guardian to your child after you pass, things get a tad bit interesting. Especially when you’re only getting to know the person for five months before you entrust them with your own.
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Are They In Good Hands?
The main character-driven element of ‘In Good Hands’ is overall what makes this film interesting. Frankly, there are a few moments in the movie where it feels as though some of the plot’s elements of storytelling have been lost; but the powerful acting of each of the actors’ performances makes up for this lack. I’d have to say that this is an excellent example of how a film can come even more to life when the actors can move around potentially flawed elements of a story and make it into something great; along with making the character’s actions even more understandable than if we were simply reading the script. Ultimately, interpretation and personal development of how each actor saw their characters is what made ‘In Good Hands’ even more intriguing for me to watch.
But, despite my feelings towards the writing in the film, I don’t want to disregard how ‘In Good Hands’ truthfully tugged on my heartstrings. I’m a sucker for watching a healthy and heartwarming mother-son relationship; especially when it feels as though the development to make the relationship as such was nurtured to the best of its ability. The writer, Hakan Bonomo, and the director understood how to convey this kind of family relationship accurately; on top of an understanding of how tragedy can affect everyone, not just the person who is suffering.
I also want to point out how beautiful this film was cinematography-wise; the mixture of a classic drama’s cool tones mixed in with the brightly lit and warm rom-com color schemes. This is certainly one of the ways that the film will catch your eye, and as something that will keep you wondering what’s to come. Specifically, heads towards its ending in a shroud of curiosity and happiness.
‘Sen Yaşamaya Bak’ – The Right Hands To Hold
Overall, as much as I have a few critiques of the film, ‘In Good Hands’ was thoroughly enjoyable despite everything. I had a great time watching it, and it was definitely a nice break for me to have; even if it did make me cry once or twice (or maybe even three times). I loved all that the film had to offer me, and the romance aspect absolutely felt like a nice addition to the story; even though I was thoroughly curious as to how the romance could play a substantial part in the story.
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After sitting down and thinking about how I’d write my review for this film, I’d have to say plain and clear that I have a true fondness for ‘In Good Hands’. It isn’t the type of film that I typically sit down and watch, but my experience with the movie changed my perspective and has me now yearning to watch similar films. All-in-all, ‘In Good Hands’ is worth more than just a watch; it deserves a re-watch.
By Leah Donato
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