Leyla Everlasting review – a very “try hard” film that delivers nonsense

By Daniel Hart
Published: December 4, 2020
Netflix film Leyla Everlasting


Leyla Everlasting becomes an insufferable piece of work that feels like there is no end in sight.

This review of Netflix film Leyla Everlasting contains no spoilers. The comedy was released on the streaming service on Dec 4, 2020.

Leyla Everlasting follows a man called Adem, who wants to end his 20-year marriage with Leyla so he can pursue his romance with mistress Nergis. The only issue is, he’s struggling to get rid of Leyla naturally and he risks losing Nergis.

The Turkish film tries very hard to establish this dynamic, with plenty of gags and weird side songs to get the plot across. I believe the Netflix film is designed to be as bonkers as possible and Leyla Everlasting definitely achieves that with many overlapping themes that link loosely to Lillith. But that’s the single problem with this film — it’s “try hard”, and its delivery is certainly nonsense.

For some reason, the director decided to throw in as much madness as possible. Adem’s ultimate objective is to enjoy his passionate affair with Nergis, honing in on that midlife crisis scenario of an older man falling deep for a young gorgeous woman, while also subconsciously and consciously trying to get rid of his wife. It’s the old-age story of wealthy men and their thirst to discard those that do not stimulate them. There’s plenty of repeated jokes, and supporting characters that flit in and out of the story to try and uphold the circus. But that’s all Leyla Everlasting is — a circus.

And because of that, it isn’t easy to maintain concentration as the Netflix film moves into the third act. A movie that is one hour and fifty-two minutes long feels unnecessarily painful. I’m convinced that if this concept were designed for a 90-minute frame, the writers and director would have been able to make this work. But with space and time to explore, Leyla Everlasting becomes an insufferable piece of work that feels like there is no end in sight.

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2 thoughts on “Leyla Everlasting review – a very “try hard” film that delivers nonsense

  • December 6, 2020 at 6:26 am

    Dear Daniel,
    It is wonderful to see international audiences are paying attention to Turkish Movies.

    It seems to me you didn’t watch the other movies were directed by Ezel Akay, before you reviewed his last movie. If you did, you would understand playful, colorful, and chaotic representation of the events are his unique style. So, I think other audiences should take your review lightly..

    Here a quick information about Ezel Akay’s style. Akay’s stage name is Ezop=Aesop. As you may know Aesop was a story(fable) teller, so Akay too. Akay chooses to depict an magical atmosphere rich in costumes, equipments, props and colors in his movies. His last movie was full of antiques and paintings, in former movies such as Killing the Shadows or 7 husbands of Hürmüz costumes and scenes/set were very cheerful, vibrant and colorful.

    Like every storyteller has a prelude, the supporting actress had one at the beginning of this movie. Then the leading actress Leyla revealed us the moral of the story at end of the movie. Apparently, you didn’t grasp it tough. ? It was all about how females are aware of the male megalomania and try to survive despite their cruelty like Lilith did. Leyla was smart enough to know about Adem’s plan, but she didn’t care and lived her life by interacting and supporting other women during the movie. ?
    I believe Akay made a good fist of presenting the Myth of Lilith in a different perspective, if you come to think about most of Turk audiences don’t necessarily relate (believe) this myth.

    Lastly, I think you weren’t fair to Akay, who is an auteur filmmaker like Woody Allen and Tarantino (etc.). I wonder would you also consider they deliver “non-sense” and “insufferable works” too? ?

    A famous Turkish journalist U?ur Mumcu once said: “You cannot have an idea without having knowledge.” Here are the movies directed by Ezel Akay:
    -Neredesin Firuze? (Where’s Firuze?) 2004
    -Hacivat Karagöz Neden öldürüldü? (Killing the Shadows) 2006
    -Yedi kocal? Hürmüz (7 Husbands of Hürmüz) 2009

    Enjoy! Peace ??

    • December 6, 2020 at 8:27 am

      I still didn’t like it…

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