Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. When it comes to Turkish thriller Fatma, that couldn’t be truer for our lead character, Fatma Yilmaz.
Despite an intriguing premise and some promise early on, Fatma squanders all of that for a contrived story that falls apart when you apply even a tiny bit of logic to it. That’s a shame because Burcu Biricik puts on a fantastic performance and there’s some strong themes here about trauma and mental health.
The story centers on this grief-stricken wife, who finds her life turned upside down after the tragic death of her son. When her husband Zafer disappears, leaving only ominous silent calls as a breadcrumb trail, Fatma sets out to try and find him.
Working various different jobs, Fatma eventually seeks help from the shadowy crime boss Bayram. As he directs Fatma’s attention to his associate Sevket, disaster strikes.
Fatma shoots Sevket dead, opening a can of worms that sees her take out a string of other men who stand in her way. All of this builds up to a dramatic finale where Fatma is forced to face what she’s done, to devastating effect.
Fleshing out this story are a few other subplots, although to be fair they feel like busywork and don’t add much to the story. There’s a writer Fatma cleans for, aptly called The Author, and he’s preparing to write his next book. There’s also Fatma’s sister Mine, who ends up involved in the thick of all this too.
While the ideas are quite good, the execution is sadly not. There are numerous plot contrivances and illogical scenarios, typified by a horrendously inept police force.
One time Fatma is mistaken for a sleeping lady next to her on a bus. Another time she leaves behind a bloodied stake at a crime scene. All the while Fatma’s body count grows, not once does her face get picked up on CCTV. It’s clumsy storytelling, and something made worse when the series reaches its penultimate chapter.
To be fair, Fatma at least goes out on a high, with a semi-decent conclusion and a bittersweet final scene. Thematically, this series absolutely nails what it sets out to do. When it comes to the basic plot though, this one is in serious need of a re-write.
Thankfully, Brucu Biricik is outstanding as the grief-stricken Fatma, and understanding her journey and what’s driving her helps to give the woman an empathetic side. That’s just as well too, because in essence Fatma is a cold-blooded killer.
Aesthetically, Fatma has a nasty habit of slamming a bass thump every time a big twist or a tense moment begins. After the first two or three times, this does start to become tiresome. Other times the camera cuts awkwardly and it causes the pace to feel really inconsistent.
Fatma is unfortunately not one to remember. Poor characterization and a woefully illogical plot make this a difficult show to get behind. Fatma may have the revenge part of its story nailed, but everything else misses the mark in a big way.