Directed by Mehmet Ada Öztekin, ‘Love Me Instead’ or ‘Beni Çok Sev’ is a Turkish drama film. The story follows Musa (Sarp Akkaya), a convicted felon who is let out for a day on parole so he can see his daughter Yonca for the first time in 14 years. Accompanied by correctional officer Sedat, Musa meets his mother, his estranged wife, and Yonca. However, he soon starts to realize that something is horribly wrong with all this.
The girl that was introduced to him as Yonca is not his daughter. The real Yonca was killed, and the information was subsequently hidden from him. Overwhelmed by grief, Musa devotes himself to finding out what really happened. ‘Love Me Instead’ is an earnest tale of loss, acceptance, and redemption. If that has made you wonder whether the film is inspired by real events, this is what you need to know.
Is Love Me Instead a True Story?
No, ‘Love Me Instead’ is not based on a true story. Öztekin himself penned the script for the film. The talented filmmaker has previously garnered international recognition for ‘Kaybedenler Kulübü Yolda’ and ‘Martilarin Efendisi.’ His 2019 film ‘Miracle in Cell No. 7’ is a Turkish adaptation of the 2013 South Korean film of the same name. It received a widespread positive response and was even sent to the 93rd Academy Awards as Turkey’s official entry for the Best International Feature Film category, but it ultimately didn’t receive a nomination.
Turkey has emerged as a powerhouse in the global entertainment landscape in recent years because of projects such as ‘Dirilis: Ertugrul’ (‘Resurrection: Ertugrul’), ‘Kulüp’ (‘The Club’), and ‘The Protector.’ Arguably not many are aware that Turkey has consistently produced powerful social drama films for a long time. The 2008 film ‘Three Monkeys’ won the Best Director Award (for Nuri Bilge Ceylan) at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and was shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 81st Academy Awards.
Thematically, ‘Love Me Instead’ resonates with universal themes like fatherhood, grief, redemption, crime, and addiction. As a result, it’s inherently appealing to anyone interested in watching movies with these elements, as long as they are willing to overcome the subtitle barrier. ‘Love Me Instead’ candidly addresses the devastating effect that the imprisonment of a father can potentially have on his family. It also delves deep into the raw pain of a father losing his child and then follows him as he slowly finds his way towards acceptance and healing.
As its protagonist is a convicted inmate, the film inevitably addresses social ills such as crime and drugs. However, it does so with compassion and with an understanding that circumstances can lead anyone to those unsavory paths. So, while ‘Love Me Instead’ is not based on a true story, it’s perfectly understandable if you think it is.
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