Last Summer, or Geçen Yaz, is a Turkish coming-of-age romantic-drama movie directed by Ozan Açiktan and starring Ece Çesmioglu, Aslihan Malbora and Halit Özgür Sari, alongside other cast members.
– Last Summer review contains no spoilers –
The official Netflix description for Last Summer reads:
During summer vacation in a beachside town, 16-year-old Deniz seeks the affection of his childhood crush and navigates a love triangle.
Set in Bodrum, Turkey, Last Summer, aka Summer ’96, follows teenager Deniz as he comes across his childhood crush one summer holiday. Right off the bat, it’s odd that the movie features ’96 whereas it states 1997 in the movie itself. I am unsure what that is supposed to mean, but oh well.
Asli’s name creates a flutter in Deniz’s heart – you can see it on his face. He hangs around at his place a little more, checks her out while drinking water, he’s unsure of whether to swim or go back home to spend some more time around Asli; it’s all so childish and cute.
There are also lots of skirmishes with friends and sibling fights. It’s summer, after all, it’s all fair play. Last Summer doesn’t really have much of a drama or an arc. It’s just about Deniz’s life and his love in the summer of 1997. However, if you’re thinking of finding a huge plot point or turning moment here, then you’re gravely mistaken. It’s mostly how hard Deniz tries to woo his childhood crush and, well, gets blown off most of the time.
Don’t get me wrong; I liked watching Last Summer. It’s one of those laid back movies that doesn’t have too much to think about. It goes on in front of you without creating too much of a hassle in your mind, and if you can let go of the questions that arise in movies such as these, I think they’re wonderfully entertaining.
However, Last Summer has no story arc. Deniz seems like he grows up at the end of it, but it’s hard to tell. He stands up for the people he cares about, but well, not really. All the characters are likeable, though and seem childlike and young – how you’re supposed to be when you’re a teenager. Deniz, especially, is interesting. He is at the cusp of adulthood, and this is when his childish and adult-like behaviours merge. So, he does some seriously cringy stuff, but at other times, feels quite mature.
The performances in Last Summer are fine, and Ece Çesmioglu and Fatih Şahin are really good. The backdrop of Bodrum feels especially beautiful and will make you want to go on a vacation. Additionally, the music featured in the movie will get your feet tapping.
Summing up: Last Summer
Last Summer is a coming-of-age movie that is entertaining but doesn’t provide much other than that. I found no story arc worth noticing, but it’s still quite charming if you want a no-headache watch. However, the runtime might just be something that becomes an annoyance after a while.
Last Summer is streaming on Netflix.