English Reviews

Review: Kofte (2010)

Kofte (2010)

Directed by: Michiel van Jaarsveld | 76 minutes | drama, comedy | Actors: Vefa Ocal, Gürkan Kücüksentürk, Maartje van de Wetering, Ebru Akyildiz, Ergun Simsek, Oya Capelle-Karisman, Mahjoub Benmoussa, Ali Car, Hakim Traïdia, Oya Capelle-Karisman, Fatma Genc, ​​Özlem Solmaz, Yasar Üstüner, Carla Marjan Luif, Rogier Schippers, Reinier Bulder, Annemarie Jung, Wilco Maas, Virginio Papa

‘Köfte’ is one of the Telefilms from 2010 and written and directed by Michiel van Jaarsveld, whose debut ‘Drift’ scored well internationally (and also in our own country) at film festivals. The drama series “Stellenbosch”, in which the director born in 1970 participated, was also well received. It is logical that the expectations for Telefilm ‘Köfte’ are high. However, the film is somewhat disappointing.

‘Köfte’ needs at least half an hour to get going, and that is mainly caused by the weak humor that typifies the beginning of the film. Fortunately, the cringe-inducing jokes get better later – or rather – the emphasis is more on the plot development than the humor. Unfortunately, for every bad joke (“You can eat off the floor here, there’s plenty!”) there is no good one, so you can’t really speak of a successful comedy. Only a few situations cause a smile.

The film is much stronger on the emotional level and that is mainly because two of the main characters are well developed. When the film starts, Erdal Koksal (Vefa Ocal) is still a stubborn and grumpy man, who holds traditional Ottoman cuisine in high esteem and whose point of view knows nothing: he doesn’t think twice about adjusting his business operations at all. Son Nuri (Gürkan Kücüksentürk) has studied business administration and has drawn up a business plan, but that too is not enough to break Erdal’s train of thought. You only notice the fact that Erdal is virtually blind when you see that his wife is terrified when he crosses the street. Restaurant De Sultan thrives on the cooking skills of Erdal’s wife, so when she suddenly dies, the family business is also doomed. Zafer (Ergun Simsek), a competitive Kebab chain tycoon, whose daughter Leyla (Ebru Akyildiz) Nuri has developed a close friendship since the two walked hand in hand on the playground, has a solution: If Leyla and Nuri get married, De Sultan to be made into a thriving kebab shop.

What follows is a lot of trouble in both Turkish families, but what makes the complications even more fascinating is the addition of nurse Eva (marvelous role by Maartje van de Wetering). Together with Erdal, Eva most closely approaches a person of flesh and blood, while Nuri and Leyla remain just movie characters. The scenes with Eva and Erdal are therefore the most interesting, because they know how to touch the viewer’s heart. When it comes to Nuri and Leyla, the film collapses quite a bit. And that is very unfortunate.

How could it be otherwise with such a title, but ‘Köfte’ can also be classified under the genre of ‘food films’, such as ‘Eden’, Julie & Julia’ and ‘Bella Martha’. The dishes that pass by (in images and text) make your mouth water: what about imaginative (and real!) Ottoman delicacies such as The Imam faints, The lips of the damsel and women’s thighs? It’s a shame that the mix of comedy and drama – which can otherwise turn out very well – doesn’t work here, otherwise a theatrical release for ‘Köfte’ would even have been feasible. Now it has become a nice feel-good film, but not necessarily one of th

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