Godspeed (2022) review: A tragic masterpiece

Godspeed (2022) is a Turkish drama wherein an ex-army captain travels to Dalyan to stop his friend’s girlfriend from marrying another man. However, grief and trauma from a combat tragedy mar his journey. It is currently streaming on Netflix.

Godspeed 2022 Trailer | Netflix Movies - Youtube

Story

‘Godspeed’ revolves around two retired soldiers, who travel across the country in their venture to stop a forced wedding from taking place. War veteran Salih leads this expedition, but it is his friend and sidekick Kerim who is romantically connected to the bride, Elif. 

Through flashbacks, it is established that Kerim asked Elif’s father for his daughter’s hand in marriage and was fervently rejected. Later, he enlisted in the military in the hopes of winning the father’s affections, so he could marry the girl of his dreams. 

Whilst serving in the army, Kerim meets Captain Salih and the two become lifelong friends. In the present, Salih breaks out of the hospital and the wanted men head for the wedding. 

On arrival, Salih exits the car alone and crashes the party with his gun raised into the air. He fires into the sky and drags Elif away from the disturbed guests. 

Elif’s father explains how she was suicidal and that they didn’t know they had chosen such an awfully timed wedding date. Salih gets Elif into the car and Kerim just sits there, silently in the backseat. 

Given the odd situation, Kerim only adds to the absurdity, making for the most unusual reaction imaginable.

Performances

Engin Akyürek as Salih is a very thoughtful casting as his facial expressions with his minimal dialogue really brings out the soldier’s psychological state of mind. From being annoyed with Kerim to finally dealing with his loss and grieving, Engin portrays the character to emotional perfection.

Tolga Saritas as Kerim performs impressively as his ghastly appearance foreshadows his situation throughout the movie.

Belfu Benian plays the role of an extremely worried wife convincingly as her character struggles to deal with her husband’s condition and tries to save him all the time.

The performers bring their prestigious talent to the screen and do not fail to portray the same throughout the film.

Positives

The casting is commendable, given how every actor bares well to their own character and make it emotional for the viewers.

It has splashes of political and social observations thrown in for good measure.

Carrying conspicuous allusions — from Salih holding on to the dead weight and hallucinating Kerim to the car in which his parents died — the movie further makes Salih’s grief and denial more visual for the viewers.

The trauma and grief that Salih experiences is displayed in a stellar fashion, especially with the planned flashbacks and with Kerim’s presence.

Negatives

At many instances, the film seems to have merely sentimental value as the patterns of flashbacks seem too monotonous.

The relationship between Duygu and Salih is not explored enough throughout the whole film.

The dynamics of any relationship and friendship is not properly displayed, while the focus is on Salih and his perspective itself.

Verdict

While the film may have been a sentimental drivel at times, it saves itself from complete ambiguity by giving the viewers a compelling ending. While Salih’s cheek is constantly caressed by bittersweet memories, the touching visuals put together make the film tender and a must-watch, especially given its revealing twist at the end.

Rating: 3.5/5


Also Read: Godspeed (2022) summary and ending explained