Director: Boris Paval Conen | 90 minutes | drama, thriller | Actors: Funda Eryigit, Meral Polat, Romijn Conen, Nasrdin Dchar, Ali Ben Horsting, Nilüfer Aydan, Ergun Simsek, Sinan Bengier, Hubert Fermin, Burt Rutteman, Katja Ilina, Nazmiye Oral, Vitali Oussanov
The Turkish-Dutch agent Nurgül gets to deal with two big surprises within a few days. After years of absence, her brother Gokhan is suddenly at the door. He has returned to support the family during the father’s illness. In addition, there is the sudden transfer of a quiet provincial town to the large Amsterdam. There the fear only increases: Nurgül has to work undercover in a Turkish restaurant. Its owner is a gangster on a warpath.
So Nurgül swaps her police uniform for a waitress dress with a dizzying plunging neckline. What follows can be summarized in a few keywords: smuggling, liquidations, drugs, secrets, loose fists, eavesdroppers, family troubles and of course a nice single colleague.
As these keywords suggest, the Telefilm ‘Undercover’ does not rely on originality. You see plot twists and turns coming miles away and the screenwriters keep choosing the well-known road.
‘Undercover’ does not have to rely on credibility. We immediately believe that the Dutch police set up an undercover operation in such a clumsy way. It is more difficult to swallow that a Turkish crime consortium is just as amateurish in its work. We do not believe at all that a criminal hangs cozy snapshots of his fellow gangsters in his villa. There are many more things that we do not go into.
What you have to admit to ‘Undercover’ is that the film amuses more than 80 minutes. Despite the wobbly scenario, the tension is well maintained. Agent Nurgül has been in the picture long enough and human enough to forge a bond, thanks to an excellent acting Meral Polat. The supporting roles are also well filled, with the reliable Nasrdin Dchar and Ali Ben Horsting leading the way. That the dialogues do not always come out smoothly is a bit less.
For example, ‘Undercover’ offers the kind of entertainment that the Telefilm institute is just not known for. A conservative crime film that can be watched as well as skipped and that you forget while watching it. That will not have been the intention.