In Good Hands is a Turkish film that follows a single mother trying to imagine her son’s future when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer. It is currently streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
Melisa is an amateur artist in Istanbul. She shares the most perfect bond with her six-year-old son, Can. For financial sustenance, she also works at a cafe.
In the beginning, she is diagnosed with cancer and is told she has five months to live. Her closest friend, confidante, and coworker, Fatos suggests she should marry someone so there is someone to care for Can. Can is extremely strong-willed and protective of his mother.
They do everything together and regularly buy a tissue paper roll while returning home. Melisa explains that Can’s father died when he went out to buy a roll of tissues; this makes Can afraid of running out of tissue paper roll again and losing his mother.
Melisa decides to go on a date with a bachelor CEO named Firat. He had previously lost patience and showed his temper to Can while ordering at the cafe. However, they bond well over the night and Firat asks if she would accompany him to dinner. When Melisa says she cannot leave Can alone, he asks her to bring him along.
Can is initially cross and disrespectful towards Firat, but Firat wins him over with his kind and suave attitude. He confesses his feelings towards Melisa and she readily accepts. They begin spending most of their days as a family; staying with each other, going on long drives, and to parties.
One day, Firat takes Melisa, Can, and Fatos to a party. Later they go to an ice cream parlour. Outside, Can sees something that completely changes the story as we were shown so far.
If you have any doubts about the ending, here’s a complete breakdown.
In Good Hands ending explained in detail:
Outside the ice cream store, Can meets a man whom he recognizes as his father. Firat is shocked because he was told that Can’s father had died. Melisa, utterly distraught, falls unconscious and is taken to the hospital.
The next day, Firat expresses how he feels betrayed. He cannot believe Melisa lied to her son. He thinks she wouldn’t be in a relationship with him if it wasn’t for securing Can’s future.
Can realizes his mother is sick. Still unsure about his father’s identity, he shows extreme resentment towards Melisa. But seeing Melisa crying, he breaks down and they attempt to calm each other.
Melisa calls Firat and asks if they could talk.
Firat comes to Melisa’s home and she asks if he would hear her story.
In a flashback, it is told that Firat had spent a night with Melisa. Melisa had liked Firat for a long time, but the latter was indifferent.
Firat had taken a piece of jigsaw puzzle with him, promising that they would finish the puzzle together. But he never returned. It is also explanatory of why Melisa had a dream about the puzzle earlier.
Melisa tried to inform Firat about her pregnancy, but she was never allowed to meet him. She does not regret it, because she got a chance to share an extraordinarily strong relationship with Can.
The man Can thought was his father, was Melisa’s friend who shifted to Germany. She had edited their photos together and made a story about his death because Can could never suppress his curiosity.
Overwhelmed with the truth, Firat leaves the home.
Coming to terms
Melisa shifts Can to Fatos’s house to get him accustomed. She gives her his favourite movies and a book that she had illustrated about him.
Firat resorts to alcoholism, he is beaten up at a bar for unruly behaviour. He recovers soon and decides to take responsibility for his actions. He assures Can that they are still on good terms.
He apologizes to Melisa and promises that he will stay. Melisa is pleased with Can and Firat’s bonding, she sighs that they never got the timing right.
The next day, she takes the tissue paper rolls out and leaves. She leaves a sketchbook with portraits of them and everything close to them. In the final scene, Firat and Can try coming to terms with their loss by flipping through the pages of the sketchbook.