Kuma (Dork Shelf)
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON DORK SHELF
Fatma is a fiftysomething housewife with six children in Vienna, but she grew up in Turkey and clings stubbornly to the traditions and values of the old country. Ayse is 19, and married to Fatma’s son, Hasan. However, when the family takes Ayse to Vienna this is revealed as a charade… for Ayse is to be the kuma (second wife) of Fatma’s husband, Mustafa.
Kuma starts with a slow pace that makes the audience’s entry into this world a chore in parts. It’s anchored by the 2 ladies at the heart of the story, Nihal Koldas as Fatma and Begum Akkaya as Ayse. The pair form a strong and tender bond, with Fatma leaning on Asye to take care of the household and her children. Koldas is solid as Fatma, who’s so stubborn that she would willingly plot and scheme for her husband to have a child with another woman. But its Akkaya’s turn as Ayse that’s the real attention grabber here. As the story develops, and after tragedy strikes the family, Ayse discovers herself for the first time, with Akkaya pitch perfect in relating the character’s naïve charm and eagerness.
The pacing and tone may turn off some, but Akkaya`s performance is enthralling, and audiences will debate her actions and their repercussions long after the film is over.
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