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Clarissima the Scribe 24th day of May in the year 2018. London, United Kingdom.
PREVIEW OF FILINTA
Netflix in the United Kingdom. Two Series. In Turkish with English subtitles.
Feeling kindly towards Turkish series possibly after watching Intersection, I decided after some humming and hawing (well not literally but metaphorically speaking) to try something on my list called Filinta.
I had initially stipulated to myself that I want a series with at least two seasons/ series. One is too short. Two is bare minimum.
More than two is even better. But not always. I mean look what happened to Once Upon A Time..
On further examination I discover the rather amazing fact: that Filinta has eighty something episodes for series one. And sixty something for series two. Great stuff. I’m good to go..
FIRST REVIEW ON FILINTA Series One. First Few Episodes.
So Filinta is beautifully created on screen. Assiduously constructed for historical accuracy. As in the time period, the 19th century.
The scene settings are gorgeous and fascinating to devour and examine. To observe that other world. In that other time. Wonderful stuff.
Interiors to die for. Exquisite furniture, stencils on the wall, ornate ceramic tiles, I could go on. It would take too long.
The outside scenes too, are painstakingly constructed. The bundling trams, or more corectly coaches, with horses out front, hurtling over the cobbled street. With a man, running in front: ringing a red bell.
There is a very deliciously evil bad guy who is more than a little creepy and has a medusa head sculpture on his office wall.
There is an extremely handsome young, moutachioed and bearded young Detective. Well I say bearded but this may indeed vary. I’m thinking he shaves for work.
Its’ hard to remember the details because the hero has these glittering sea blue eyes. And a burning gaze. You kind of get hypnotised.
The hero comes out with some hilarious chat up lines which sound to our twenty first century ears: exceedingly flowery. But he is deadly serious. Who could help but swoon..
UPDATE ON FILINTA. SERIES ONE.
Well I’m on episode thirty five now and OK now I’m on somewhere around (episode) forty now. It was around episode thirty five that I felt Filinta was shaping up very nicely.
Admittedly I had hiccups along the way. I am aware that there is a let’s call it a positive bias on the Ottoman side along with some proselytising. Plus some shocking historical facts.
Like in episodes one where Filinta’s best mate jokes- I think-that:
“We could sell you a woman!” in order to remedy Filinta’s bachelor status. Now this was not shocking to me. I had already stumbled upon, a while ago now, this aspect of Ottoman history. But then it is there, in old paintings, for all to see.
Good thing we still have paintings. Because Wikipedia, for example is periodically sanitised. By those who carry out the mysterious editing. But I digress.
On second thoughts, better keep the history books too. I found something, as in a source called the New World Encyclopedia. Which seemed a little more impartial. In terms of relating history. But who knows.
This was my brief potted description of Filinta in a note to my brother: A brief description of Filinta (Series One).
“Hey, so I stuck with Filinta and it is shaping up very nicely, think you might even like it!”
“Beautifully recreated mid 1800’s Ottoman empire Turkey, sailing boats, old ports, ancient original buildings (I have checked) Detective mysteries, a love story, gangsters, Pashas/ the Sultan, Grand Viziers, political machinations aplenty.. or more succinctly: Victorians with knives.”
FILINTA SERIES TWO.
So I’m on series two now and have lost count of the episodes. At one point it was a hundred and two and I remember thinking that they were still counting from series one.
When at some point they must have decided that triple digits were getting too unwieldy and started counting from episode or number one again. During series two. Unless there was an actual break between parts of series two that we don’t know about. Since this series is a Turkish Television series.
I did note at another point, after some long credits, so long that I was thinking that it had finally ended, I saw the date 2015.
Blimey, that’s not that old then I thought to myself whilst realising that 2015 seems super modern anyway: compared to the late 1800’s. Somewhere around the turn of the century now I reckon.
Since at some point the opening credits say: “Filinta’s one thousand”. Which I presumed meant 1000 years.
I reckoned this somehow referred to the turn of the century? And this was their, as in the Ottoman’s way: of describing it? Like us saying it’s the millenium.
Remember when we were all convinced: or had been convinced- that some evil computer bug would destroy the electornic world? At the turn of the century. ha ha. I do. But I digress.
FINAL REVIEW OF FLINITA: Series One & Two.
So I am now suffering from a Victorian hangover. a post Victorian hangover to be precise. Since I am not suffering from a hangover in Victorian times. Well if I was I would have to be Victorian if that was a term. And I wouldn’t be writing this. But I digress.
Yes, ah the Victorian times. The sartorial elegance of the male characters I noticed: increased over time. But then of course certain characters were always very well dressed. I can say no more.
Me I was fascinated with their tie pins or more correctly, some kind of artfully tied silk cravat. worn by the gentlemen. Along with fabulous jackets and coats. Of two-toned material, ties and even tartan. Waistcoats were de rigeur.
Possibly my favourite scenes in Filinta and there were many, were the zooming in scenes in 3-D and multicolour technicolour brights.
Then there were the harbour scenes, repeated over and over again. The one steam sailing ship, blowing it’s black smoke through a giant cylindrical steel chimney.
Then the sailing boat, against a backdrop of magenta sunset: with too many triangular billowing sails to count.
Filinta was a delight for the eyes, a rip roaring story and a tumultuous tale of often nerve wracking suspense. Keeping you in suspenders as my Grandmother used to say.
There was a point towards the end of the second series that I had to vacate the room. For a break. Because I just couldn’t take the suspense any more. It was all a bit too much.
Mind you, it had been really rather one thing after the other. That’s all I can say.
Plus I guess you have come to know the characters so well by then: you are emotionally invested. Or involved. Surely the proof of some very fine acting and wonderful increasing characterisations. Over time. Of each character. As we quite literally, see them grow older and wiser. Through time.
Well in the case mainly of the heroes that is. The evil ever plotting baddies remain pretty much the same. Except for appearing, in one case, a little bit older.
Being that the characters are all fully rounded: we see the good side along with the evil: in several of the officially evil characters. I like that. Nobody is cardboard one sided or one dimensional cardboard. So to speak.
You can’t help liking some of the baddies. Great. Nobody is just either evil or good. OK some of them maybe..
There are lots and lots of wonderful characters in Filinta. Different sorts of clans if you like, associations. They are all too numerous and complicated to explain. That’s my excuse.
Plus to to begin to describe each or any of the men (and women) would or could constitute a spoiler. And it’s much more fun to discover them on your own..
Plus Mustafa is seriously hot.
Mustafa, we love you Mustafa!
And Mustafa has some serious moustache work going on.
Footnotes on Filinta as a postscript added later.
There are some odd anomalies at first in Filinta which it took me a while to figure out.
Now, later as a veteran watcher (as in long time, not that I’m a veteran) of Turkish Television series: I am familiar with these rules. Which are that despite the most heinous batles and hand to hand combat scenes you will see in Filinta: the blood is always blurred. On people’s rather horrific injuries. Shall we say.
Also to be found subject to the blurring fuzzy treatment on film is, hilariously, alcohol. Yes wine glasses have a miasmic like haze. Inside.
Now at first regarding the fuzzy faces and other injury sites likewise plus the odd alcohol apparition gave me to thinking: what the hell is going on? But then I figured it out. Of course.
And there is no kissing either. Well not on the lips.
Suddenly, twitiching and sensitively creeping long slim fingers reaching out to another hand inches away: become fraught with romantic tensions. Ah.
Later, I realised I was becoming obsessed with spotting whether they had remembered to blot out with the hilariously wonderful John Carpenter fog: each and every glass.
Not that there was very much of that. As the Ottomans mostly drink dinky little cups of coffee and classical English tea. We presume. In fine bone china intricately patterned tea cups. Just like Victorians.