Rating – 3.75/5
After watching Erkenci Kuş, the Turkish romantic comedy that has won the hearts of millions worldwide, I couldn’t stop myself from watching other shows of Can Yaman. (Yaman is the male lead of Erkenci Kuş). So, Dolunay (meaning Full Moon), starring Can Yaman and Özge Gürel in the lead roles, was my next stop. The series is also called as Bitter Sweet.
Dolunay revolves around Nazlı (Özge Gürel), an amateur cook and Ferit Aslan (Can Yaman), a young, successful, handsome, and organized businessman. Nazlı needs a job immediately to pay the rent of her apartment that she shares with her sister and her best friend. She accepts the proposal to work in Ferit’s house as his private cook upon her professor’s recommendation.
At the same time, she meets Deniz, whom Ferit treats as his younger brother, and becomes fast friends with him. Deniz soon falls in love with Nazlı, but she doesn’t reciprocate his feelings. The relationship between these three gets even more complicated after Ferit proceeds to take custody of his nephew, Bulut, following his parents’ death. This is obstructed by Bulut’s aunt, Demet and her husband, Hakan who simply want to exploit the child for their nefarious gains.
Check out Bay Yanlış, the new series of Can Yaman and Özge Gürel.
Classic plot, eh?
Love triangle. Check.
Cute kid. Check.
Handsome, drool-worthy hero. Check.
Demure girl. Check.
As-bad-as-they-get villains. Check.
Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this drama as well as Erkenci Kuş.
This is because the character of Nazlı was not fully developed. She remains a confused girl throughout the series and shows little character development. Further, Özge Gürel fails to deliver a poignant performance during some of the emotional scenes. For instance, I could hardly feel Nazlı’s pain when Ferit broke up with her. (This is not a spoiler since breakups are common in any romantic series.)
On the other hand, Yaman does full justice to Ferit’s character. Ferit is a suave and reserved man. His actions speak louder than his words. He doesn’t like talking much and remains aloof from women due to past incidents in his life. The way he slowly opens himself after Nazlı enters his life despite knowing it could make him vulnerable to yet another heartbreak; the way he gradually breaks his defenses to let Nazlı into his heart is delightful to watch.
Can Yaman shows this transformation exquisitely well. He adopts Ferit like a duck to water. If you watch Yaman in his interviews, you can see he is the exact opposite of Ferit – restless, energetic, conversational, and polite. Thus, his portrayal of Ferit Aslan simply awed me. The way Yaman shows Ferit’s pain, anger, and indecision when he comes to know of Nazlı’s lies was genuinely touching – subdued yet moving.
There is a scene (after he comes to know of Nazlı’s lies) where Ferit is fondly looking at the collection of sticky notes that Nazlı wrote to him. He is torn between his love for her and his anguish at being betrayed. Yaman nailed this scene perfectly. There are no dialogues here, only his eyes do the talking.
Can Yaman and the child actor Alihan Türkdemir (portraying Bulut) are the main reasons I watched Dolunay. Bulut was lovely throughout the series. Every time he cried on missing his parents, my heart would break too. His innocence and cuteness more than made up for the deficiencies in this show. Necip Memili, as the antagonist Hakan, is good too. He serves as the perfect foil to Ferit. The supporting characters could have been better.
The show definitely gets better from Episode 16 since from this episode Nazlı and Ferit are together (I won’t say why since that would be a spoiler!). The simmering chemistry between Ferit and Nazlı is given the chance to blossom by the scriptwriters. From this point onward, I could enjoy the sizzling chemistry between them which, unfortunately, isn’t realized fully until this episode. Their banter soon becomes the highlight of this show and makes it delightful to watch.
Although Dolunay is not as strong as Erkenci Kuş, it is definitely worth a watch due to Can Yaman’s charismatic performance. Wait till episode 16 for the magic of Dolunay to unravel. If you love romantic dramas and Turkish series, give it a try.
It is easily available on YouTube with English subtitles. You can also watch İnadına Aşk, another romantic comedy starring Can Yaman.