How far can a person go for their loved ones? When you are yearning to see and meet someone, and then you finally meet them, but later you realize that they are not who you thought them to be. The truth, the reality, can be scary. When Musa’s life, like a daydream, falls apart, guilt and rage take over him to avenge the injustice against his daughter. In the series of events that happen so fast, Sedat, another father who loves his daughter, all the same, helps Musa in revenge. ‘Love Me Instead‘ shows how different Father-Daughter relationships are, yet love is all the same.
‘Love Me Instead’ Plot Summary – Musa Meets His Daughter after 15 Years
Musa has been in jail for the past 15 years for an accidental crime done by him. While trying to save his friend and love interest Nuriye from sexual assault, he had killed a man. At that time, he was married and had a daughter. His then-wife had gotten pregnant with Musa’s child by accident. Hence, they had to marry each other forcefully but never really loved each other. Yonca, their daughter, was merely a year old when Musa was sent to jail.
Years later, Musa is still in jail, and his wife dies, leaving Yonca behind. His wife’s parents refuse to take care of Yonca, so she is sent to Musa’s mother, who has an advanced level of Alzheimer’s disease. After finding this out, Musa appeals to the court to let him meet his daughter, who he hasn’t seen in years and now is an orphan. Seeing his acceptable behavior over the years and sound records, the court grants him leave for one day. He is both nervous and excited to meet his daughter. He asks the younger inmates about the current trends among young people to understand his daughter better.
The Misery of Sedat
Musa is coming out on Parole to go meet his daughter. His supervisor is Sedat, who has been working as a Jail guard for 29 years and now is about to retire. Escorting Musa is the last task in his career as a jail guard. Although he requests to not let him do this job as he wants to retire peacefully, his boss orders him to do so. Little did he know what was going to happen further. Sedat is about to retire, and his one and only daughter is going to get married. To begin with, he was never rich, but he did everything he could to give his daughter a good education and a good life.
Sedat thinks that he will not have to worry about his daughter if she studies well and makes good money. However, his daughter gets into a lot of debt, and Sedat is now paying them, with people knocking on his door for money. On the other hand, his daughter met a rich guy during college and is getting married to him. She is ashamed of her poor parents and didn’t bring her fiance home. This hurts Sedat and his wife, and they wonder if they will even be invited to the wedding which is going to be held in Italy.
The Truth of Yonca
Musa goes to his hometown with Sedat to meet his daughter. He hadn’t seen her for years, so he asks Nuriye to send him a picture of hers. Nuriye declines first but finally gives in to his requests. Nuriye is staying with Musa’s mother and his daughter. When Musa reaches home, his daughter is reluctant, and his mother does not recognize him. Musa and Yonca exchange some awkward conversations and go on to sleep. Musa declares that he will sleep in Yonca’s room as he’s staying only for the night and wants to spend more time with her.
In the night, Yonca asks Musa to sneak out so that they can meet her friend. Yonca was constantly teased for not having a dad, so she wanted to show her friend that she really had one. After meeting her friend, both of them spend the night roaming around, eating in cafes, and talking about Yonca’s life. They return home happy. On the morning of his return, Musa’s mother recognizes him after all and starts crying. She keeps on saying that she couldn’t save Yonca. That’s when Musa comes to know that the girl who he thought to be his daughter isn’t really Yonca.
‘Love Me Instead’ Ending Explained
Nuriye and Yonca accompany Musa and Sedat to the bus station. As they wait for their ride to arrive, Musa confronts Yonca and asks her to reveal her real identity. He tells them he knows that she is not his real daughter. Scared, Yonca runs away from him while Nuriye apologizes. Nuriye shares the bitter truth with Musa. His real daughter was forced into prostitution by a mafia named Apo. She refused to go to school, started dating a drug addict, and started selling drugs. One day, she was found dead in an open yard after being left there for days. No one from the neighborhood tried to call the police or take a look at her.
Nuriye finds her out and buries anonymously, so as to not mess with Apo. Rage takes over Musa after hearing the truth. He hurries towards Apo’s cafe when Sedat stops him. Sedat has been listening to everything, and he understands the fatherly love of Musa towards his dead daughter. He hands his gun to Musa and asks him to come back alive. Musa fakes, hitting Sedak on the head, and runs away to the cafe. As soon as Musa reaches the cafe, he starts shooting every person he sees. He is so filled with anger that he snatches guns from dead people and continues the shooting. After killing everyone, including Apo, he tries to play a song called ‘Love Me Instead’ on a laptop, but he can’t. It was Yonca’s favorite song, as Nuriye had told him.
The police surround the cafe and call Musa out. He comes out but has lost his senses. He doesn’t throw away his gun after multiple warnings from police. Police shoot him down with bullets when the fake Yonca comes screaming towards him and holds him in her arms. She tells him her real name, Leyla. Years later, Leyla becomes a lawyer with the help of Sedat. Leyla never had a father or a good family. Because of Musa, she found Nuriye, Sedat, and his wife, her new family. Sedat and his wife got a daughter who was grateful for what they did for her, and Musa died knowing that he acted as a father, not to only one, but two of his daughters.
Love Me Instead is a 2021 Turkish Drama Thriller film written and directed by Mehmet Ada Öztekin. It is streaming on Netflix.