Love Me Instead on Netflix, a Turkish Melodrama About Fathers Afraid of Losing Their Daughters

Netflix’s Love me instead (Beni Cok Sev) is a Turkish film that incorporates flashbacks in flashbacks, a crime drama in the genre of melodrama. It’s the story of a correctional officer, a prisoner, and the common problems of the father they have in common, revealed on one fateful day. Some are more tragic than others, when these things play out, but do they make for an effective two-hour movie? Let’s find out together.


Gist: Sedat (Ercan Kesal) sits across from two investigators for a disciplinary hearing, a video camera recording the exchange. He doesn’t necessarily have to be in trouble, but he could, depending on what happens today, they tell him. We then flashback to an indefinite period of time, to scenes that Sedat cannot narrate, because he was not there, even though he may have known about these moments after the incident. real and are sharing them for the sake of linear, nice deposition even though they are intimate moments that have nothing to do with the investigation? Anyway. He is a correctional officer assigned to escort an inmate on a day off. The gig interrupts Sedat’s plans to meet his daughter, who is visiting from Italy; He’s not happy about it, but he has no choice but to do what his boss asks.

Sedat will be accompanied by Musa (Sarp Akkaya), who has been given a night to see his daughter, Yonca (Aleyna Ozgecen). He served 15 years of an 18-year prison sentence and hasn’t seen her since she was a baby. Her story is sad – her mother died, her grandparents rejected her and she is sent to live with Musa’s mother Nebahat (Fusun Demerel), who suffers from severe Alzheimer’s disease. Thankfully, Yonca and Nebahat have Nuriye (Songul Oden), a longtime friend and neighbor, to help. Musa shared all this with Sedat on the bus ride home to Musa, and, just to be clear, Sedat was sharing it with the inspectors.

Talk about town. It appears to be under the thumb of an organized crime ring that Musa was once associated with. The boss is Apo (Ali Seckner Alici); Yonca was occasionally mildly harassed by villains outside a local coffee shop; Musa still has friends in the business. For all intents and purposes, it seems to be a poor, hard-to-live town where residents can accept the element of crime as an inevitable fact. Musa goes to his mother’s house, and she doesn’t recognize him. The reunion with Yonca is awkward, but it’s finally heartwarming as they sneak out of a sleeping Sedat – in violation of his temporary release – and walk across town for snacks. late at night. Musa talks about what happens three years later when he’s finally out, and the melancholy music tells us it was probably a pointless dream. Meanwhile, Musa receives sad news from her daughter that she won’t be visiting; he ignored calls from a creditor; he argues with his wife about his pending retirement and the accompanying pension bonus.

What movies will remind you of?: Love me instead (possibly unreliable) deposition-recollection structure very similar to True Detectiveand its heavy approach to the melodrama genre is reminiscent of another Turkish Netflix drama, Life on paper.

Performances worth watching: Kesal is the narrative fulcrum of the film, and he plays a kind, sensitive, quietly desperate man with sincerity and an important touch of subtlety.

Memorable dialogue: “If you can’t take care of your children, if you can’t protect them, are you really a man?” – Musa

Gender and Skin: An overview of computer screen pornography.

Our Take: Love me instead is a gentle, intimate melodrama with a tendency to improve slightly in its more intense moments. Writer and director Mehmet Ada Öztekin uses slow-mo gratuitously, smears the proceedings with a confusing score and lets the death scenes drag on, until it all becomes one excessive emphasis. The movie is just over two hours and a sane edit could be used; some scenes felt irrelevant while others mulled over a few beats beyond their impressive effectiveness, and the whirling speed created a maudlin-larger mid-point bend than necessary.

But that doesn’t mean the film lacks thought. Its two male protagonists must grapple with some of the great unseen challenges of fatherhood, the main one being the fear of losing his daughter to a dangerous and seductive world. Oztekin also makes good use of the rigid framing, creating a sense of atmosphere with some thoughtful cinematography. But once the plot really gets hot and sizzling, the cast’s subtle character building gets thrown off for the sake of unwieldy plays. There’s a good character introspection somewhere in this movie, but Oztekin doesn’t quite pull it out of the way.

Our call: Love me instead has its moments – and they’re pretty good! – but in the end doesn’t add up to a purely rewarding watch. IGNORE IT.

John Serba is a freelance writer and film critic based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Read more of his work at or follow him on Twitter: @johnserba.

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