Kuma provides a wonderfully moving insight into the lives of two Turkish women as they journey through life upholding the necessary values expected of every woman in the society they are confined to. It is these traditional, familial and household values that build the foundation for their seemingly heart-warming relationship. The story begins with Ayse (Nihal Koldas) marrying into Fatma’s (Begum Akkaya) family. The two women share a family, a home, a husband and their high regard for a woman’s role in this world. However, with love and esteem for one another, betrayal follows close behind.
For a Western audience it is, of course, eye-opening to witness how the concepts of marriage and love are altered. Even more revealing is the role that the women play, having more control over the decisions of marriage than can possibly be anticipated, with a darkness and sinister approach.
Ayse marries Fatma’s son, but it is not for love. When the family return to their hometown with Ayse in tow, it becomes apparent that she has been chosen by cancer sufferer Fatma to protect and care for the children if her illness worsens. She shows such adoration and esteem for Ayse as her newly adopted daughter; their relationship is touching but questionable.
The acting is among some of the most effortlessly brilliant onscreen at the moment. The scenes of loss and tragedy are performed with heart-wrenchingly cathartic expression – a refreshing exhibit of real human reactions to certain situations that are, at times, veiled in Western cinema.
The storyline is extremely daring, leaving the audience buzzing with all the twists and turns of the events that unravel in front of them. It feels as though the film lasts for days, unhurried but without losing the audience’s interest. Any confusion in the plot as it unfolds merely adds to the mystery and draws the audience deeper into the lives of these women who regard their roles as wives and mothers with the highest importance.
Kuma is released nationwide on 16th August 2013.
Watch the trailer for Kuma here: