Kuma: The Second Wife

"Excellent"

Kuma: The Second Wife Review


A sensitive drama about a hidden subculture, this film is sometimes difficult to watch as its naturalistic approach reveals chilling details about a Turkish family living in Austria. The melodramatic script sometimes feels like it's tackling too many issues at once, but by taking such a personal approach the filmmakers help us experience the events ourselves.

The story begins in a dusty Turkish village, where a lively wedding feels eerily strained. The bride is 19-year-old Ayse (Akkaya), who is calmed by her new mother-in-law Fatma (Koldas) before her marriage to handsome young Hasan (Muslu). Then she travels back home with them to Vienna, where the truth comes out: she is actually a second wife for Fatma's middle-aged husband Mustafa (Erincin), chosen by Fatma to replace her because she is dying of cancer and needs someone to care for their young children. But older daughter Kezban (Imak) feels insulted that her mother brought in an outsider. Especially when Ayse gets pregnant.

Like Ayse, we have some trouble making sense of the extended family she encounters in Austria, including aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbours and Fatma and Mustafa's adult children, who have children of their own. But this bustling atmosphere creates a vivid sense of community in shops and homes, hidden from view. And the key cast members are terrific at creating rounded characters who register strongly. Koldas is especially vivid, as we watch the engagingly unpredictable Fatma shift from warm compassion to ruthless discipline. And Muslu gives Hasan an engaging emotional life all his own, especially as we start to understand why he agreed to this fake marriage long before the script reveals the reason.

We see everything through Akkaya's expressive eyes, and we ache for her to find her own happiness, even if it might be dangerous for her to look at another man. It's as if screenwriter Ladinigg wants to say everything about this subculture in one movie. But the story has enough surprises along the way to keep us gripped. And filmmaker Dag shoots and edits everything through Ayse's perceptive point of view, which grounds the film beautifully.



Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Umut Dag

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

Advertisement
The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Subtitled Salazar's Revenge in the UK, this fifth film in the long-running series never quite...

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.