It had the potential to be a unique romantic comedy that highlights many different journeys, but it didn’t quite have a strong enough story to do so.
This review of the Netflix movie Heartsong does not contain spoilers.
heart song is a Turkish romantic comedy that is now streaming on Netflix. It takes the cultural aspects and fuses them with musical lore to bring a romantic connection to the forefront. The film follows Piroz (Erkan Kolçak Köstendil) and Sümbül (Hazar Ergüçlü) who fall in love with each other and run away from their family to live a peaceful and loving life together.
Director Soner Caner sets the tone at the beginning of this film with music and a different perspective from the mind of Piroz. He finds joy in the little things in life because his father was so carefree and in tune with his creative/spiritual side. Right away the family dynamic was established because their father Mirze (Bülent Emin Yarar) came back into town.
Audiences will see three generations of men struggle with love and loss in their way. It was interesting to see how their characters evolved throughout the film. But what was even more impressive, was how they grew closer to each other, especially in understanding the meaning of partnership. Mirze has a long-lost love that never died even when he was with his wife. So after his wife passes, he returns to the town to rekindle that old flame. His sons must break the news that his old flame is no longer alive, and Mirze can’t act on his love.
From a woman’s perspective, the way the men treated Sümbül was offputting because they thought she was a virgin before she was married off. Her husband appeared violent with her and wanted to return her to her father because she wasn’t pure.
Meanwhile, Sümbül fell for Piroz through song, which is why the movie is titled heart song. It was a tune straight from the heart and the two of them connected before her wedding day. From then on Sümbül and Piroz were inseparable and they both tried ways to get back to each other.
There were plenty of obstacles for Sümbül, but Piroz used his connection to the lore within his town and his family to channel some positive energy. He was manifesting her and with the help of his community, his dream could come true. It was an interesting watch because of how they integrated family legacy, love and music to show how the partnership works in their culture. It was rooted in family values and they were also somewhat progressive in how they treated Sümbül versus the side of her new husband. Caner showed different perspectives on love and relationships, and how powerful a woman’s love can be for a man.
The direction felt different and there were different camera angles used that wouldn’t normally work for a romantic comedy, but it did here. It was more of an exploration of mind, body, and soul as Mirze wanted to reconnect with his lost love.
You could feel how connected he was with her even though they never really shared any romantic love for the majority of their lives. It’s a testament to who he is as a person and how he taught his sons to love. Mirze had to process his grief in his way and wanting to go where his lover is, is the ultimate connection. He felt broken without her, without both of them, and he suffered a great loss. Even though his tactics are a bit unconventional, he is still showing how he is coping with everything.
It’s a very different romantic comedy, but it doesn’t get you invested in the story because of how obscure the love story is. There could have been some more scenes between Sümbül and Piroz to strengthen their bond, but ultimately it fell flat. The sentiment is there and the way the family came together to help their father was sweet.
heart song had the potential to be a very unique romantic comedy that highlights many different journeys, but it didn’t quite have a strong enough story to do so. The direction was strong for the most part, but the script is what really dragged this film down, and the characters — apart from Mirze — didn’t have any depth to connect with them emotionally.
Some great moments make the film enjoyable, mostly all of the scenes that involve music are what elevated this movie. Or else, the pacing was slow, and Caner didn’t allow Sümbül and Piroz’s chemistry to shine. That’s where the film ultimately suffers because they could have stolen the spotlight if the pairing were in it a bit more.
Instead, the most interesting aspect of this film is Mirze and the way he burns for his lost lover and he mourns for his wife at the same time. It’s an interesting combination, showing the range of emotions when suffering from grief.
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You can watch this movie with a subscription to Netflix.