“Fatmagül’ün Suçu Ne?” (what is Fatmagul’s fault) is a Turkish TV show which is currently airing on Zindagi channel in India as Fatmagul. Thanks to a dear friend I was able to watch this show online. Once started, it is difficult to stop after just watching one episode. The show is that addictive.
Director: Hilal Saral
Actors: Beren Saat, Engin Akyurek, Firat Celik, Musa Uzunlar, Murat Daltaban, Bugra Gulsoy, Engin Ozturk, Kaan Tasaner, Sumru Yavrucuk & others.
Written by: Ece Yorenc, Melek Genecoglu
After the debacle that was Feriha & knowing that Fatmagul was a show based on rape I wasn’t keen to watch it when the promos first aired. Everywhere I went I only read good things about this show but still decided to keep away. But as happens most of the time you are flipping through channels, you see a scene & you are hooked. The first scene I saw of this show was Fatmagul (FG) glaring at Kerim with utter & complete loathing as they sat at a restaurant with their family while the poor guy literally shriveled under her gaze. The next thing was the promo in which she is trying to stab him. After a long break I caught up another promo where in one scene the girl is weeping about wanting to move on, wanting to be able to love again…cut to a few happy moments…and back to her shouting & screaming at Kerim. I could no longer hold my curiosity & had to know why this petite girl was yelling at this cute puppy eyed guy so much! And so it began…
What I loved:
- The casting: Every single person was perfect for his or her role. Beren & Engin are definitely marvelous as FG & Kerim but even the rest of the cast does a fabulous job. After Engin & Beren my favorites were Sumru (Meryem) & Esra (Muqaddes). Bugra (Vural), Alper (Omer) are completely droolworthy while Sevtap (Hacer) & Seda (Meltem) were so effortlessly stylish. Esra as an actor got to showcase the maximum range of emotions after the leads, what with starting off as a complete bitch to moving on to be a meddlesome & lazy family member, then a shameless cheater. But I loved her best when she was teasing Meryem mercilessly about Kader. I have started using her “romantik romantik” in the same accent while teasing my friends now.
- FG & Kerim’s journey into love: It is very rare for me to like both the halves of a couple. Rarely have I understood both their POVs & even rare is me empathizing with both. Hence FaRim as they are lovingly called by their fans are special to me. Barring a few times when I felt FG went a bit overboard or Kerim was being too much of a doormat I loved each & every scene when they were together. They have that rare brand of chemistry which can turn even their grocery shopping into something exciting to watch. I could understand FG’s initial hate, I could feel Kerim’s pain, FG’s indecision about Kerim was so palpable, her jealousy, her show of indifference, her small smiles at his huge efforts all were a treat to watch. As for Kerim even I started off with disgust for this man. What sort of a man just stands there & does nothing. Even being drugged doesn’t excuse his behaviour. But it cannot be denied that without his & his Abla’s support FG would have died a long time ago. She became confident later, but it were these two who with just by being present pulled her out of the jaws of misery which the Yasaran’s, Muqaddes & Mustafa had pushed her into.
- The writing: I loved how this show concentrated on all aspects of rape. They showed the event & its implications on the victim as well as the culprits. I was surprised to see a psychiatrist involved for mostly all movies & TV shows skip this part. I love FG wanting to heal…for herself. I looked forward to each & every session of her’s for it gave us a little insight into the workings of her mind. Her thoughts about standing on her own two feet, having something of her own for the first time in her life & then much later about wanting to be physically intimate with Kerim warmed my heart. The writing was all inclusive in that they covered the societal, medical, emotional, family & personal angles.
- Some hard hitting realities: The show had some hard hitting realities woven into its story line. The one which struck me most as a woman was how many women shunned FG or chose to believe she was a liar or chose to protect the rapists for various reasons. Starting with Halide whose first words after hearing about FG’s rape were: my son’s life is ruined. My jaw literally hit the floor at her callousness. Muqaddes betrayed FG in the worst manner ruining any chances of her ever getting any justice. Hilmiye, from start to finish, was indifferent. Then there were the minor characters like Yadigar, Dr. Nil for some time, Erdogan’s friend who was spying on Meltem’s mother for him, the girl who smuggled Selim & Erdogan to Malta, the neighbours who constantly shunned FG…the list is endless & an unfortunate reality of this world. But it pleased me a great deal to see Selim & Erdogan too being shunned in jail for their heinous crimes.
What I did not like:
- Mustafa: First I hated him, then he irritated me, then I began to ignore him & finally I started rolling my eyes every time he came on screen. IMO, Mustafa Nalcali as a character was the writer’s biggest mistake in this show. Mustafa became the classic case of a writer falling too much in love with one of his own characters & giving him too much screen space, so much so, that he sculpts him into a demigod. Mustafa was undefeatable, always at the right place, always with the right bait, always with the best of luck on his side, always fooling people he needed to use, always having that one friend available who would bail him out of trouble. He went on to become the most ridiculous character in this show. Even at the end, I felt it was more the writer than Omer who was saying that Mustafa committed suicide. It didn’t look like suicide to me. Had he not been shot he would have gone on to kill Kerim. The writers did a great disservice to the show by giving this man so much of importance. As the show races to its end it becomes more about Mustafa’s obsessions for FG. There comes a time when you even forget that you are supposed to hate Erdogan & Selim more than Mustafa. Instead Selim & Erdogan are reduced to mere props brought out for comic relief while Mustafa goes from strength to strength. A story about rape should focus more on the rapists than on the victim’s fiance. Mustafa should have been killed or phased out a lot earlier.
- Turkey’s legal system: What exactly did the police do? Every time I see Omer & Kader running from one place to another searching for proofs, so what does the police do? Other than the initial CSI after rape I didn’t see them much in action. Also why is there no cross questioning in Turkey’s courts? The court proceedings were dull. Now of course it is quite possible that the show wasn’t true to life but all the court scenes were just boring.
- The execution of the end: Why did they give us the final hearing as a flashback? It took out all the excitement of the verdict. Rather than wasting so much time on macho man Mustafa they could have nicely concluded the show by giving a proper detailed court case hearing but well…
Zindagi’s translation & dubbing: Terrible! That is all I can say. They have messed up the translation & dubbing a great deal. The girl who dubs FG sounds like a shrill harpy & I just cannot enjoy FG’s scenes because of her. What a pity because Beren has such a beautiful voice which enriches FG. They did a lot better job at dubbing Feriha than they are doing with FG. I even spotted them repeating voice artists for characters, like the nurse when Mustafa was hospitalized after being stabbed was dubbed by the same person who dubs for Asu!
This show is a must watch. Try to catch the Turkish version of the show because their original voices add a different kind of magic to the show.
A definite 5/5 from my side.