Goodbye Ek Pyar Kahani, R.I.P. Gohar Ali
Although it was long expected, many fans of Ek Pyar Kahani hoped against hope that Gohar Ali – the drama’s lead, played by Seckin Ozdemir – would somehow survive beyond the drama serial’s end. That wasn’t to be. True to its South Korean Inspiration, I’m Sorry, I Love You (Mianhada Saranghada), Bir Ask Hikayesi’s creators made sure they achieved the teary-eyed end the drama promised from the start. However, much like all tragedies well-told, this one, too, was a memorable one. Elveda.
Now for the good news! For all those who loved watching Ek Pyar Kahani, ATV has decided to air another Turkish drama from Monday, the 15th of June. It’s called Ummeed.
Benim Hala Umudum Var
Ummeed – first aired on Aplus, last year – is the dubbed version of the Turkish Benim Hala Umudum Var (“I Still Have Hope”), which aired on Star TV and FOX between July 1, 2013 and February 25, 2014.
Benim Hala Umudum Var tells the story of Umut Ozden, played by Gizem Karaca, who represented Turkey in the 2011 Miss World competition. Opposite her are Berk Oktay, who plays the rich production company owner, Haqan Demirer, and Sukru Ozyildiz, who plays Ozan Korkmaz, Haqan’s close friend.
Umut Ozden lives with her mother, stepfather and his children in a poor neighbourhood of Istanbul, living a modest life by working hard both inside and outside the home. Soon, Haqan and his close friend, Ozan, fall for Umut, together. Umut falls in love with Ozan, but does not know of his rich background – he has been disguising himself as a poor man. How long will he be able to fool Umut, and what will happen once she learns the truth about the man she loves? These are the questions the drama dances around.
Benim Hala Umudum Var has a very standard storyline: the age-old troubles of two people from different classes falling in love, and two friends turning into enemies because of developing love for the same person. Though it does promise to be a lot more cheerful than Bir Ask Hikayesi, with no imminent deaths in the offing and more of a Pyar Kahani. But will it manage to match the high production expectations of its ATV predecessor?
For all its lousy name selection and seemingly humdrum story, Bir Ask Hikayesi was a classic of visual story-telling for many reasons. The brilliant acting put forward by most of the actors in the show was many notches above that of not only our drama actors, but Bollywood, and even Hollywood actors. The drama’s leads, Seckin Ozdemir, Damla Sonmez, Zuhal Olcay, as well as the rest of the cast, all nailed even the subtlest of touches, managing to convey the feelings of their character with immense precision. More often than not, it was poetry in motion.
The show’s direction and screenplay, too, was also of superior quality. Many a times, the characters conveyed a lot of meaning without saying anything at all – the scene’s setting and direction, and the actors’ acting was enough send the point home. In a recent episode, aired on Monday, June 8, Gohar Ali and his mother, Gulnar, come face to face, with Gohar suspecting that his mother had finally discovered his identity as her son. That sequence is so brilliantly thought out, shot and executed by the director and the actors that it gives you goose bumps – and, that, too, without uttering a single word. That’s the poetry I’m talking about.
Would Ummeed manage to live up to the high standards set by Ek Pyar Kahani?
Much of the story’s lure also comes from the way it has been told: the dialogues that have been put into the characters’ mouths and the millions of plot twists that always seemed to arrive at the wrong (read: right) time. Turkish drama makers deserve a lot of credit for producing shows like these, especially since they manage to maintain the quality of production through their excessively long series. Bir Ask Hikayesi, itself, had 36 episodes, each measuring over 1.5 hours. It’s like producing 36 movies. Yes, let that sink in.
Lastly, and not the least, a huge amount of credit goes to our dubbing teams as well. Each of the dubbing artists that worked on Ek Pyar Kahani did a very good job at delivering their dialogues not only convincingly but equally passionately as the actors, themselves. Without a good dubbing team, this drama would most certainly have lost all of its charm.
So, the question is: would the cheerier Ummeed manage to live up to the high standards set by Ek Pyar Kahani on so many fronts? It would take the performance of producers, actors and directors across two countries to create a dubbed masterpiece – and we certainly “hope” that Ummeed would not disappoint.