Review: ‘Borrowed Bride’

Respected Turkish director Atif Yilmaz, now in his late 70s, turns in a traditionally helmed tale of forbidden love in "Borrowed Bride," a period yarn that's solid fare for film weeks and ethnic webs. There's nothing adventurous here, but a fine cast of vets and newbies blend well in this good-looking slice of Turk-lit entertainment.

Respected Turkish director Atif Yilmaz, now in his late 70s, turns in a traditionally helmed tale of forbidden love in “Borrowed Bride,” a period yarn that’s solid fare for film weeks and ethnic webs. There’s nothing adventurous here, but a fine cast of vets and newbies blend well in this good-looking slice of Turk-lit entertainment.

Set in ’20s Anatolia, during the early years of the modernizing Republic, story centers on Emine (looker Nurgul Yesilcay), who agrees to be a “borrowed bride” for the virginal son, Ali (Onur Unsel), of the local mayor (Fikret Hakan). (Institution was a traditional — but fast-disappearing — one in which experienced women, under strict codes, prepared young men for marriage.) Emine needs the money while her brooding fiance (Sevket Coruh) languishes in stir, so she agrees to a no-sex, clandestine deal — until she and Ali fall for each other. Script is weak in some of its subplots, especially a love affair between Emine’s younger sister (Pinar Ogun) and a teacher, but solid performances win the day, especially by Hakan as the mayor and ’80s pin-up Mujde Ar as Ali’s mom.

Borrowed Bride

Turkey-Greece

Production

An Ozenfilm (in Turkey)/Playtime (in Greece) release of a Yesilcam Filmcilik, Kenmovie Filmcilik (Turkey)/Cinegram Film & TV Prods. (Greece) production. (International sales: Yesilcam Filmcilik, Istanbul.) Produced by Baris Pirhasan, Sadik Deveci, Kenan Ormanlar. Executive producer, Jale Onanc. Co-producers, Haris Padouvas, Despina Mouzaki. Directed by Atif Yilmaz. Screenplay, Gul Dirican, Yilmaz, Tarik Gunersel, based on the novel "Women Without Music" (Muziksiz kadinlar) by Sukran Kozali.

Crew

Camera (Fujicolor), Kenan Ormanlar; editor, Aylin Zoi; music, Selman Ada; art director, Meral Ozen. Reviewed at Istanbul Film Festival (national competition), April 15, 2005. Turkish dialogue. Running time: 119 MIN.

With

Mujde Ar, Nurgul Yesilcay, Onur Unsel, Fusun Demirel, Sevket Coruh, Fikret Hakan, Nilufer Aydan, Pinar Ogun, Metin Akpinar.
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