Movie Review: The Bride

Poster of the Turkish film The Bride

Omer Lutfi Akad’s The Bride takes us back to an Istanbul where a woman of the house is supposed to bring ‘shame’ to the family by taking her sick son to the doctor because she is defying the power of prayers. There is no comparison between human knowledge and the creator. Besides, the doctor is an unknown man, who cannot be allowed to touch you or your child. Going by these socio cultural norms, if the woman decides to go out and work, the ‘honour’ of the family is sure to come crumbling down.  

Meryem (Hülya Koçyiğit) has just moved from the small farming town of Yozgat to the big city Istanbul with her husband Veli (Kerem Yilmazer) and son Osman (Kahraman Kiral). They move in with Veli’s family, who are single-mindedly working towards expanding their grocery store business. Osman starts to suffer from repeated seizures but is not allowed to be taken to a doctor. He is subjected to the ‘charm’ of prayers instead but in vain. Worried about her son’s illness, Meryem secretly takes Osman to the state hospital with the help of her friend (Seden Kızıltunç), only to discover that Osman has a hole in his heart and has to undergo surgery within two months for survival.

Veli’s family refuses to pay for the surgery. Firstly, because Meryem has committed the crime of taking Osman to a doctor by taking help of a woman, who is shameless enough to work at a factory. They, including her husband, are convinced that there is nothing wrong with the boy. Secondly, the business requires the money and is certainly the priority over a family member’s life. In the wake of tragedy, Meryem takes the drastic step of going against the tide, never to return.

With a fitting female lead, Akad successfully comments on the societal prison of the time and frees his characters from it too. The film is especially a strong portrayal of the lives of women bound by patriarchy. 

The Bride is a part of the director’s 1970’s trilogy and is considered to be among his finest works. It has won three awards, including ‘Best Film’, at the 5th Adana International Film Festival and has been voted among the 10 Best Turkish Films by the Ankara Cinema Association.


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