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.