What is the story about?
Shadow, a hitman, flees from his master Servet, after learning that Servet plans to kill him to cover up the secret of Shadow's heritage. Hiding under a false name in a bustling neighbourhood in Istanbul, Shadow finds himself falling in love with this new life and the people around him, especially the Mukhtar of the neighbourhood and his daughter, Dilara. But can Shadow escape Servet's wrath and enjoy his freedom?
At first glance, 50M2 looks like another action-packed thriller series being churned out by the Netflix machine. But its ambitions are far lower. This is a show which has black humour, thrills and emotional moments in plenty, and everything is supposed to be in its rightful place. The problem with this approach is that creator Burak Aksak is only satisfied with conforming to the basic template of a black comedy. Honestly speaking, the central crisis of the show--Servet's pursuit of Shadow--serves as a dsitraction. Aksak's depiction of a neighbourhood in Istanbul feels more lively and entertaining, in comparison to the rest of the story. Somehow he makes these two disparate halves cohere, rendering a mildly enjoyable narrative. The problem is that this show could've been so much more.
Engin Ozturk plays Shadow with a brooding vulnerability and simmering rage. Kursat Alniacik sometimes feels too comical, in spite of his menacing turn as Servet. However, the characters in the neighbourhood are the most memorable in this show. Cengiz Bozkurt is terrific as the good-natured Mukhtar, while Aybuke Pusat lends poise and soul as his daughter Dilara. The rest of the cast are okay.
Music & Other Departments
Ferhat Uzundag's camerawork is decent, with the night sequences filmed well.
The scenes between Shadow and Mukhtar are genuinely heartfelt and the best part of the show.
For a show that relies on the element of thrill to drive its humour, it is staggeringly unbelievable that someone like Shadow, who has gone into hiding after fleeing from Servet, can walk in and out of his neighbourhood in broad daylight, in spite of the fact that there are hitmen after his life a la John Wick. There's one sequence where he just walks into the office of a rival businessman at night in his pyjamas, and there are no guards keeping vigil. These lapses are genuinely bizarre.
Did I enjoy it?
I found it enjoyable, in spite of its predictability.
Do I recommend it?
You can give this a one-time watch, if dark comedy-thrillers are what you enjoy.