by mh musings
Terzi (The Tailor), centers around the intermingled pasts of Peyami, his childhood best friend Dimitri and Dimitri’s fiancée Esvet. Peyami, a famous tailor, begins to sew the wedding dress for Dimitri’s fiancée he is yet to meet, but all three have dark secrets that shatters the known balance in their lives.
Peyami, played by Çağatay Ulusoy, is an accomplished designer, who has a sizeable establishment in Istanbul. Hailing from the eastern region of Kars, it is obvious when he comes back for his grandfather’s funeral that he hasn’t been home in a long time. He is forced to confront his past when he meets his father, a mentally challenged and highly dependent Mustafa, who is palpably traumatized by his father’s death. His grandmother Sülün insists upon closing their estate in Kars and moving to Istanbul with Peyami. Mustafa is Peyami’s best kept secret and he shrouds his presence in mystery, hidden from his regular acquaintances. Even Dimitri (Salih Bademci) is unaware of Mustafa’s existence, always believing the family lore that Peyami’s parents died in an accident.
Dimitri’s rich socialite parents, who are of Greek orthodox descent, have a complicated relationship with the nonconforming Dimitri. They harbor a dark secret about Esvet, who is an orphan raised by a non-descript pair from the Greek orthodox community and has come to Istanbul with her adoptive parents. She and Dimitri are engaged to be married, with not too many details shared about how they came together. Esvet is an evident mismatch with the psychopathic Dimitri, who thrives on living dangerously.
One day, Peyami pays a visit to Dimitri’s home to get his fiancée fitted for her wedding dress. Citing family tradition of keeping the bride unseen, Dimitri’s mother Lia keeps Peyami blindfolded while he measures Esvet (Şifanur Gül), whose face also remains under the veil. As such, Peyami’s assistant Suzi also doesn’t get to learn what Esvet looks like. At the end of their session, Esvet overhears Suzi talking about securing a caregiver for Mustafa and the story really starts when Esvet appears at the Dokumaci household as Firuze, a supposed caregiver sent by the agency.
Without giving away too much of the story, what ensues is the growing bond and sensuality between Peyami and Firuze/Esvet as Peyami re-discovers the wonders of his father through Firuze’s kindness, the complications when Peyami discovers the truth about Esvet and the events that get put into motion when Dimitri begins to suspect where Esvet might have disappeared to. Layered into this are the draconian Sülün Hanım, Mustafa’s forbidding mother, and the shifty people in Dimitri’s family. Everyone holds a piece of the story while Peyami, Esvet and Dimitri flounder their way through this maze of life they have been plunged into.
Terzi is the first collaboration of practicing psychotherapist Dr. Gülseren Budayıcıoğlu and Onur Güvenatam (OGM Pictures) to come to the streaming platform. Dizi watchers are well familiar with projects such as Kırmızı Oda, Masumlar Apartmanı, Camdaki Kız, Doğduğun Ev Kaderindir, and the most recent superhit Yalı Çapkını, all of which are fruits of the same collaboration. Often adapted from patient files and stories, the underlying foundation of Dr. Budayıcıoğlu’s stories are the psychological explorations of the characters as each navigates the dramatic realities of their lives.
Terzi is also based on a true story and, as such, it has a similar psychological flair. It is adapted to the more concise form factor of a 7 episode season, with each episode lasting 47 minutes or less. In contrast, depending on when the show debuts, a regular dizi season is about 30 episodes long, with each episode being 140 minutes long. Thus, the short series feels more impactful with a clip pace of storytelling and character discovery.
The set and costume design seems a blend of classic with the contemporary. The interiors of the homes, family customs and clothing seem classical, and yet it blends seamlessly with the modernity of flashy fashion shows, after parties and latest model vehicles in the streets of Istanbul. One also sees the blend of mini-cultures within Turkey in how we experience the Sufi music and culture, subtle hints of Christianity in Dimitri’s world, and how these thread together through the characters and their life histories.
The framing, camera angles and colors are a visual treat. Kudos to director Cem Karcı for capturing the essence of each family through their spaces and colors. There is the pretentiousness in Dimitri’s household and office, the classical elegance of Peyami’s household and work space, and the traditional grandiosity of Peyami’s childhood home. The aerial shots of both Istanbul and Kars are beautifully done, exposing the viewer to a country that cannot help but embody the layers of culture and diverse traditions built over the centuries.
Çağatay Ulusoy as Peyami and Şifanur Gül as Esvet/Firuze give a solid performance in the first season but the focus this season is more on building the characters for Mustafa and Dimitri. Olgun Şimşek as the mentally challenged Mustafa is spell binding. From body and facial contortions to his childlike mannerisms, he breathes the character of Mustafa. Salih Bademci as the flamboyant, unpredictable, loose canon Dimitri is dramatic in his interpretation of a character whose animalistic mannerisms are defined by his own childhood scars. Celile Toyon Uysal as the ominous Sülün Hanım does very well to portray an indomitable matriarch who has the grit to bend reality to suit her needs. All in all, each actor takes on their role with integrity and they play well against each other.
Terzi is a fast and pleasing watch, and more so for Çağatay Ulusoy fans as he comes back on screens after nearly a one and a half year hiatus. The characters are interesting with the mysteries of their pasts, making Season 1 appropriately intriguing in the dramatic conflicts and plot details embedded throughout the episodes. The show has been performing well and reached the number two spot in the Top 10 Netflix series in the world, with nearly 80 countries having it in their top 10 shows by Day 3 of its release. It even ranked no. 9 in the USA for a day.
Terzi does not present a predictable flow, leaving the viewers hungry for how things will unfold in Seasons 2 and 3. That is the mark of good cinema and we eagerly await its arrival.
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¡Qué dramáticos son estos turcos!
Empecé a verla sólo porque decía estar basada en eventos reales, pero ya desistí.
Todo se enreda y va de mal en peor.
No más de producciones turcas.
Me parece muy interesante toda la trama, solo espero que la protagonista NO vaya a morir o terminal mal y Peyami esperamos tampoco termine en una tragedia como ha sucedido en las anteriores series turcas protagonizadas también por Cagatay Ulusoy! las seguidoras de nuestro amado Chataiii… estamos atentas esperando la tan soñada temporada dos…
Amazing and fast-paced episodes in Season 1. It takes a bit of genius from the director and all of the actors involved to introduce and embed the different characters into the storyline so effectively. Holding my breath for the next season! It’s also great to have Cagatay back on our screens; he certainly did not disappoint my expectations of him.