In Good Hands is a Turkish drama presently streaming on Netflix. It follows a terminally ill single mother who gives herself a chance to bring someone into her life for the sake of her son.
Melisa (Asli Enver), an amateur artist in Istanbul, shares the most perfect bond with her six-year-old son, Can (Mert Ege Ak). She simultaneously works at a cafe for financial sustenance.
When she is diagnosed with cancer and is told she has five more months to live, she has only one concern. She does not have anyone to take care of her son.
She decides to give a chance at dating, much against her son’s wishes. She chooses to date (Kaan Urgancioglu), Can’s the biological father. But neither Can nor Firat is aware of their relationship.
Can initially not accept Firat but the latter wins both of them over by his kind and suave attitude. Once Can is comfortable with Firat, they spend most of their time as a family.
One night, outside an ice cream parlour Can meets someone whom he recognizes as his late father. Melisa had told them that his father had left to buy a tissue paper roll and died.
She had edited some pictures by adding a friend who immigrated to Germany so that Can never get uncomfortable with the truth.
Eventually, she reveals everything to Firat. He is upset, initially, but resolves to take responsibility for his actions. After Melisa’s death, Firat takes guardianship of Can; they help each other to come to terms with Melisa’s death.
Asli Enver radiantly shines out in her role as a single mother and perfectly captures her character’s joys and tensions. Mert Ege Ak, the child actor playing Can is a treat to watch, his energy as a pre-schooler is the beating heart of the movie.
The supporting actors do not disappoint, however, their performances do not stand out as memorable either.
The story was unique in the sense that it did not link single motherhood solely with its anxieties. It showed the joyful side of motherhood that is so underrepresented in media.
The film had a steady pace throughout, the child comedy added much to the light-hearted and heartwarming flavour to the movie.
Complemented with a smooth indie film-esque cinematography and music, the film is refreshing in comparison to darker tales on dying patients and single mothers.
The lack of character development is something that starts to catch your eye in the second half of the film. It is unclear why Melisa finds it easy to trust someone by whom she was betrayed earlier. The film also doesn’t linger much on how she coped with her illness herself.
The revelation of the truth is not only unexpected but also unconvincing.
Firat’s sudden resort to alcoholism and unruly behaviour, and his eventual redemption arc follows the stereotypical notions around distressed men.
Firat not recognizing Melisa, and her forgiving him is too convenient for the story and too inconceivable for the viewers.
The jokes here and there, are predictable and in poor taste, something one could rightly call dull writing.
In Good Hands is a somewhat satisfying watch worth enjoying with your family if all other options have been exhausted.
Also Read: In Good Hands summary and ending explained