Friday, June 22, 2007

Under Production | Kabadayi by Omer Vargi

Young and veteran Turkish actors on the set of new film ‘Kabadayı’
Screenwriter Yavuz Turgul and actor Şener Şen are often asked “Don’t the two of you ever separate?” Both say they’d like to work on different projects, but for various reasons they always end up working together.

But the new movie “Kabadayı” (bully) will mark a change in direction in the “director Yavuz Turgul-actor Şener Şen” combo. Although Turgul wrote the screenplay, the movie will be directed by Ömer Vargı. Actors Ruhi Sarı and Kenan İmirzalıoğlu will also star in the movie.

A press conference was held at İstanbul’s Sürmeli Hotel this week to introduce the movie. Şen will take on the role of a former bully named Ali Osman. When one day Osman encounters his first love, Afet (Selma Kutlu), and learns that she has a son named Murat (İsmail Hacıoğlu), Osman’s life takes a twist. Devran (İmirzalıoğlu), a mafia boss, is in love with Murat’s girlfriend, Karaca (Aslı Tandoğan), and is willing to do anything to get her. Osman, on the other hand, is willing to do anything to keep his son and his girlfriend safe and happy. We’ll see how just far Osman has to go when the movie plays in theaters in December.

The movie will be shot in 30 different locations in İstanbul, from Halkalı to Beykoz. Each actor and actress said they fell in love with the script as soon as they read it. Speaking of part of the film, Şen says, “It is a scene that has all of Yavuz Turgul’s qualities,” while Sarı notes, “There are some screenplays where you can take out a few parts and nothing will change. Those types of screenplays are no good. But with this one, even if you take out just one sentence it changes everything. This shows the screenplay is very good. It doesn’t include a single line that is useless. You are going to watch a wonderful film.”

Referring to the similarity between the title of the upcoming film and Turgul’s former popular movie, “Eşkıya” (bandit), Sarı hinted that the movies have nothing in common.

Like the movie, which brings two brave men from different periods together, the set of the movie has brought the old and new stars together. With Şen on the top of the list, the oldies include Rana Cabbar, Süleyman Turan, Ferdi Akarnur, Dursun Ali Sarıoğlu and Ayberk Atilla.

İmirzalıoğlu and Sarı take their place on the list of younger stars. The young actors say they are excited to have the opportunity to work with veterans of Turkish cinema. “We have a lot to learn from them,” they say, while the older generation compliments the performance of the younger ones.

Director Vargı says it’s no easy task working with these names. “My feet are shaking because I am so nervous,” Vargı says and explains why he is directing Turgul’s screenplay. “Yavuz and I are old friends. He told me about this story before and I really liked it. He said, ‘I’ll write it for you if you are willing to film it’. So Yavuz didn’t write this movie for himself, he wrote it for me. If I do a good job of directing it is going to be a great film.”

Violence is not on the screen, but within society

The name of the movie means bully and Şen’s opponent is İmirzalıoğlu -- who we’re used to seeing in TV and movie productions as a tough and angry man -- raising questions over violence in the movie. “There isn’t a lot of violence,” Vargı says, adding: “Violence is not present within the public because there is violence in movies. If there is violence in public then there will be violence on the screen. Instead of blaming producers and directors, everyone needs to look at themselves. As for this particular production, there is nothing that promotes violence.”


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