Screened at the 2021 Reeling LGBTQ+ International Film Festival (6/10)
When a young gay Turkish emigre living with his family in Switzerland is unwittingly railroaded into a secret arranged marriage while on a visit to the rural village where he grew up, he’s forced into complying with his parents’ wishes and setting his own dreams aside. Needless to say, that doesn’t go over well with his Swiss boyfriend, who’s furious upon the cajoled bridegroom’s return. So what’s next? That’s what the members of this unconventional love triangle must now try to figure out. While director Gitta Gsell’s latest may have its heart in the right place – especially when it comes to stoking viewer indignation in response to the antiquated, unenlightened cultural considerations allowed to unduly dominate the lives of three young people perfectly capable of making their own choices – the predictable, formulaic narrative and its glib, feel-good vibes undercut the credibility of events. The notion of genuinely seeking workable solutions to thorny conditions is undoubtedly laudable, but, when it comes at the sake of believable realism, that often wipes out whatever sympathetic sentiments a story like this may have worked so hard to generate. This is passable viewing, to be sure, but it’s a little too neat and tidy in my view in light of the film’s prevailing circumstances.