On the surface, Netflix’s ‘Last Call for Istanbul’ looks like just another romantic comedy where two strangers have a meet-cute at an airport where they fall in love and their story begins. But as the events unfold, the movie turns out to be much more than that. It turns out that the relationship between the protagonists is not a clean slate but a very complicated one, and what looks like the beginning might actually be the end of something between them. By the time the credits start to roll, the characters make up their mind about what they really want from each other. SPOILERS AHEAD
Last Call for Istanbul Plot Synopsis
Mehmet and Serin see each other across the baggage claims area. From the first look they share, it’s clear that there is something between them. They almost part ways when Mehmet leaves with his bag, but when he notices that Serin’s bag is lost, he stays back to help her. She tries to be polite and tells him she can manage, but he stays back and helps her find the man who mistakenly took her suitcase.
They get many chances to go their separate ways, but they decide to stick together, even when it comes to light that they’re both married. Serin keeps asking Mehmet if he would cheat on his wife, and even though he keeps saying no, it seems like he has every intention of being with Serin. By the time the night ends, Mehmet and Serin end up in bed with each other. But the next morning, when Serin’s luggage is brought back to her, it is revealed that she and Mehmet are married and on the verge of a divorce.
Last Call for Istanbul Ending: Why Did Serin and Mehmet Want a Divorce?
Halfway through the film, the revelation that Serin and Mehmet are married to each other completely changes the way their interaction is presented in the first half. It becomes clear why Mehmet refused to leave Serin’s side when she lost her luggage and why he got so aggressive when they were cornered by a pimp on the streets of New York. It also makes sense that he called himself her husband and why, despite claiming that he is not the kind of man who cheats, he slept with her.
Serin and Mehmet didn’t meet for the first time in the airport in New York. In fact, they’d been with each other for over a decade and were married for several years. It had been somewhat like love at first sight for them when they met each other at a party in Istanbul. At the time, Serin was with someone else, but her feelings for Mehmet were so strong that she ditched that relationship to be with him. It didn’t take much for them to fall head over heels for each other, and despite her father’s reservations about Mehmet, the couple eloped.
Reality hit Serin and Mehmet a few years into their marriage when she started to wonder if it had been a mistake not going to New York when she had the chance. She’d dropped that opportunity because things were going well with Mehmet, and she didn’t want to leave him behind. But now, she feels frustrated in her career and applies for the position again without telling him. When Mehmet finds out about it, he is heartbroken that she’d apply for a job in another country without telling him about it.
This secret between them starts to eat away at their relationship, which staggers with every day. They constantly fight each other, and a distrust develops between them, which comes to a breaking point when Serin discovers messages from another girl on Mehmet’s phone. The messages don’t implicate him in an affair, but it does sow the seeds of suspicion, wihch only grows stronger the more Mehmet denies it. Eventually, it is Serin who asks for a divorce, and Mehmet has no choice but to go forward with it.
Do Serin and Mehmet Patch Up?
While the process for their divorce was being finalized, Mehmet and Serin had to go to a couple’s therapist in one last attempt to make things work between them. After many sessions, the therapist asks them to take the trip to New York together and, once there, act as if they were meeting each other for the first time. Would they fall in love with one another then? If yes, then perhaps there was still something worth saving between them.
After spending the night together as strangers, Serin and Mehmet realize that they still do love each other. He believes that it changes everything, but Serin reminds him that one fantastic night doesn’t change anything. They still have the same problems. She doesn’t want kids, but he does. She wants to live in New York, but he doesn’t. And they don’t have a common ground between them even now. At the end of the day, they are still standing right where they were when they landed in New York.
After the fight, they spend the next few days in the city separately. Serin focuses on her work and Mehmet focuses on his music. When the time comes to go back, Mehmet leaves a letter for Serin in which he confesses his love for her and apologizes for the things that created the chasm between them that they can’t seem to overcome. He asks her to take the return ticket and come back home with him.
He waits for her at the airport, but when she doesn’t show up, he boards the plane. However, before the plane can leave, he decides not to go to Istanbul without his wife. He tries to leave and discovers that Serin has come to the airport to go back home with him. She realizes that he is ready to stay in New York, and he realizes that she is ready to leave New York, confirming that they both still love each other. Confessing their feelings, they decide to give their marriage another chance. They are ready to talk things through and find a common ground where they can meet each other halfway without having to compromise on their marriage. In the end, they board the plane for Istanbul together and go back home to turn over a new leaf in their relationship.