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.