Fatma Review

This Turkish crime-drama fails its leading lady badly

Rony Patra -

Fatma Review
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What is the story about?

Fatma, a cleaning lady, works at a food court in a mall. Her husband Zafer has served a prison sentence and disappeared, leaving her to settle his debts to various people. She also grapples with the trauma of losing her autistic son Oguz in an accident, and waits for Zafer's return so she can tell him about it. While asking about Zafer's whereabouts, she encounters gansgter Bayram, who directs her to a rival goon who could've known something about Zafer. However, in a twist of fate, Fatma ends up killing him. This kickstarts a spiral of violence and rage that Fatma finds herself enmeshed deeper and deeper in.


At first glance, Fatma Yilmaz seems to be another character in the long list of complex female characters in TV who wrestle with the trauma of their past. Fatma is especially vulnerable: she lives alone, has a husband who disappeared after being released from prison, shares a testy relationship with her sister, is frequently propositioned by her landlord, and is regularly haunted by visions of her deceased son. There's also the baggage of her past, where she has to contend with the trauma of being molested as a child. You wonder how a woman can tolerate so much, and about what will push her over the edge. In the hands of the terrific Burcu Biricik, she becomes something else. Rage gets flipped like a switch, and in a flash, Fatma becomes someone who will not hesitate to get her hands bloody in the heat of the situation.
Fatma is a fascinating character, but, unfortunately for Biricik, the show is badly let down by creator Ozgur Onurme's shoddy screenplay, where he pays less attention to the other characters and their circumstances in telling the story. In the mad rush to make Fatma a vigilante/heroine, logic gets tossed out of the window on more than one occasion. In the second half especially, Fatma's past trauma is repeatedly harped upon, and in doing so, the makers seem to trivialize the psychological scars her character carries. Overall, it's a huge disservice to its leading lady.


Besides Biricik, the rest of the cast is very ill-developed. Mehmet Yilmaz Ak is okay as the menacing gangster Bayram. Hazal Turesan hardly has anything to do as Fatma's estranged sister Mine, but she shines in the finale. Ugur Yucel is all right as an author who employs Fatma, but you feel irritated at times because his track acts as a speedbreaker in the tension-fuelled narrative. The others are average at best.

Music & Other Departments

Tolga Kutlar's cinematography is decent, but Ali Aga and Cengiz Karadag's editing is on point. Tufan Aydin's score is okay.


Burcu Biricik's performance is the only highlight here.


Hardly any attention is paid to the narrative, which lacks a sense of urgency and is geared towards depicting Fatma as an avenger. For instance, there's a key scene where she is in the office of the owner of the mall she works at, but there's no reason given for why she's sitting in front of him, when she is dismissed as a "cleaning lady" everywhere else. Fatma's mental state also fluctuates wildly, where she's clearheaded in certain scenes and absolutely muddled in others.

Did I enjoy it?

The portions featuring Fatma are very powerful, and the finale packs a wallop. Otherwise the rest of the drama is amateurish.

Do I recommend it?

There are better revenge dramas to watch on Netflix. Having said that, you can give this a one-time dekko just for Burcu Biricik.

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