FATMA is a new Netflix thriller series from Turkey, produced by Basak Abacigil and created as well as directed by Ozgur Onurme. However, if the fact that it’s Turkish means you’re not even considering giving it a shot, then you will be missing out. The title character is fascinating in a new kind of way. She is both invisible and impossible to stop looking at.
Fatma Yılmaz (Burcu Biricik), a seemingly shy woman who cleans people’s homes and offices in Istanbul, is on edge because her husband Zafer ( Ferit Kaya) has gone into hiding after being released from prison. Every time her phone rings, she picks it up thinking it’s him; it may just be him on the other side, but she just hears silence. She goes to a restaurant where some of his associates hang out, but her landlord Ismail (Deniz Hamzaoğlu) warns her off, telling her that everyone knows Zafer and doesn’t want to see him darken their door again.
Practically every person in this crime drama is a bully in his or her way. Sometimes their hostility is active, like the crime lords who scream at Fatma and threaten to turn her into a prostitute to repay her husband’s debts. Sometimes they’re more subtle, like her author client who mansplains talkshows. No matter who they are, everyone in this show sort of hates Fatma, and is tired of her husband-searching schtick.
Written by Ozgur Onurme, Fatma has an interesting idea behind it. What gives a seemingly normal person the impulse to kill, and what happens when that person finally acts on that impulse. Burcu Biricik puts in a fine performance as Fatma, who we find is exactly that sort of person. She seems meek and powerless, walking around Istanbul in her shapeless dresses and babushkas, looking like the world-weary person with a grind of a job she is. But when her back is to the wall, well, she’s a force to be reckoned with.
The first episode shows that the people she’s killing aren’t exactly going to be missed by the greater society, but it’s also obvious she’s not doing it in self-defense. Even if the bloodlust in her comes out under fear and duress, it's there, and as she gets in deeper with Bayram, it’ll be fascinating to see if she embraces this side of her or continues to fight against it.
For me, this is the kind of series that could so easily be remade in the US or maybe South Korea. It could be remade in any country because the story is so very universal. Fatma is both no one and every woman. She’s tired and exhausted by the world, she’s been forced to survive in, and now she’s trying to take charge. Well, sort of.
The Fatma series consists of 6 episodes in this first season. Whether this will be a limited series or one that has multiple seasons is still unknown. Whatever any original plans might have been, we all know that they can change if the series is a hit. And it deserves to be. Fatma is amazing, bold, different, and scary!
Final Score – [7.5/10]
Reviewed by – Ritika Kispotta
Follow her @KispottaRitika on Twitter (https://twitter.com/KispottaRitika)
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