ARTS&CULTURE

2015 12 20

Turkish comedy film tops box office

The wildly successful 'Wedding Feast 2' offers welcome respite from current events, claims films critic.

A Turkish comedy film Dugun Dernek [Wedding Feast] has done it again, scaling the heights of the Turkish box office.

Dugun Dernek 2: Sunnet [Wedding Feast 2: Circumcision] has sold more than 3 million tickets between Dec. 4 and 13, according to cinema industry website http://www.BoxOfficeTurkey.com

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The movie’s ticket sales have even surpassed those of the latest offering by Turkish stand-up comedian Cem Yilmaz whose movies have regularly dominated the charts for more than a decade. 

Dugun Dernek and its sequel were both written and directed by Selcuk Aydemir – an engineer by profession – and stars Turkish actors Murat Cemcir and Ahmet Kural.   

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Turkish film critic for daily newspaper Hurriyet, Ugur Vardan, said he believed Aydenir’s works have been successful because several key scenes went viral on social media.

Word-of-mouth support has also been especially strong, he adds.

The film’s director and co-stars have also benefitted from their experiences in the Turkish television industry, especially in their common time in soap operas, Vardan says.

“The timing of the film’s release was also important,” Vardan claims, referring to the escalating tension in southeastern Turkey where the Turkish army is combatting the PKK, which is considered as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the E.U. and the U.S.  

“Turkey is a country of an always busy, depressive agenda,” he says. “Laughter is the best solution for such situations and most of the time, the cure is comedy films.”

The titles of both films leave little to the imagination, plot-wise.

The first movie tells the story of a group of people’s attempt to organize a big wedding party in an eastern Turkish village.

In the sequel, the gang attempts to hold a circumcision ceremony, which later turns into a much bigger party where, in one scene, the boy-to-be-circumcised can be seen sitting on a throne reminiscent of the one in the American fantasy drama Game of Thrones.

Marketing expert Ayca Cavci, 28, says the movie was not something to think intensely about, rather just a fun experience.

“You can see the sincerity of the people in the village, [their] neighborhood friendship - […] and, most importantly, the great acting,” she says.

Critic Vardan hails the acting performances but adds “the jokes are not as conspicuous as in the first movie”.

“Probably the best part of the film is the halay [a local folk dance] scene at the beginning,” he says, referring to an outrageous dance number.

However, Vardan argues that the Dugun Dernek cast has “lowered the bar” in order to reach a similar box-office number as the first film, which was seen by almost 7 million people in 2014.

“I did not like the film in terms of cinema,” Vardan says.

According to the Turkish cinema critic, Dugun Dernek 2 does not offer much for foreign audiences.

He says that non-Turkish speaking audiences would only observe Turkish spectators laughing in the theater without understanding why – even with the appropriate subtitles.

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