Netflix’s Turkish film, “My Father’s Violin,” puts a narcissistic violinist at the center of the conflict and examines the shell that he has created to protect himself from all human emotions. Though his anger and ambition have made him a skilled musician, he fails to realize that his lack of vulnerability often results in his inability to express emotions completely. And like all tales, a tragedy hits him and introduces him to a person whose influence will only bring him closer to himself. The question here is whether our virtuoso violinist will accept the change and mend the flaw in his character, or will reject it and succumb to his own despair, only to die all alone in the end?
‘My Father’s Violin’ Plot Summary
Ali Riza is a street violinist who lives with his 8-year-old daughter, Ozlem, and performs with his small band to make ends meet. Ozlem’s mother died while giving birth, and soon Ali was diagnosed with a terminal illness. He hides his health crisis from his daughter and pays a visit to his younger brother, Mehmet Mahir, who fled to Italy during childhood and has returned to his country as a renowned violinist.
The two brothers meet after 32 years, and Ali pleads with Mehmet to adopt Ozlem after his death. However, Mehmet still holds a grudge against Ali for abandoning him in childhood and thus walks away, expressing that his brother died for him years ago.
Ali leaves the world soon, and in the absence of any legal guardian, Ms. İnci, the representative of the child welfare service agency, takes away Ozlem. When Ozlem refuses to go to an orphanage, Ms. İnci informs her three uncles about Ali’s younger brother, Mehmet, who can take Ozlem’s custody if he wants to keep her away from the orphanage.
At first, Mehmet refuses to help, but then his wife Suna convinces him to help his niece come out of the facility so that she can live a happy life with the extended family she has. Mehmet agrees to help with the intention of leaving Ozlem in the care of her three uncles, but soon Ms. İnci informs Mehmet that the management will pay a visit to his house within a month to confirm the custody. With no other option, Mehmet takes Ozlem to his house and soon begins a sweet and sour relationship between an uncle and his niece. ‘My Father’s Violin’ further explores their journey towards acceptance, which also helps Mehmet to become a better artist.
Why Did Ali Abandon Mehmet In Childhood?
Mehmet and Ali’s father died when they were very young. Their mother remarried, and their step-father turned out to be an extremely violent and hostile person. He started beating Mehmet and Ali for trivial affairs while their mother spent her days drinking and ignoring the kids. The bruise marks on Ali and Mehmet’s bodies that Ozlem noticed were caused by the violent attacks inflicted upon them by their step-father.
To escape the wrath of this maniac, Ali started saving money for them to run away to Italy. However, he could only save enough for one ticket and, thus, in the end, decided to put his brother on the ship. While Mehmet called Ali and begged him to board the ship, Ali ran away because he didn’t want to tell Mehmet the truth, or else he too would have stayed back. Throughout his life, Mehmet hated his brother for abandoning him, and this anger fueled his ambitions and made him a virtuoso violinist.
Mehmet finally discovered the truth when he revisited his old house, where Ali and Ozlem used to live. Ozlem revealed to Mehmet the truth about the ticket, which she learned from her late father. She also handed to Mehmet a scrapbook made by Ali in which he had collected all the achievements of his younger brother. Ali was never able to save enough money to travel to Italy, yet he kept his brother and his memories close to his heart. The revelations became a turning point in Mehmet’s life and tore down his narcissistic shell that he had created to protect himself from all human attachments.
Until now, Mehmet believed that all his accomplishments were a result of his own hustle, but he finally understood the importance of other people’s sacrifices and their impact, which helped him become a skilled musician. Mehmet tried to make amends and adopted Ozlem as his daughter. He also asked for forgiveness from his wife, Suna, and requested that she be a part of his upcoming concert so that she could also excel as a pianist and pursue her passion. It was the first time Mehmet didn’t think about himself, but gave attention to other people’s dreams and ambitions.
‘My Father’s Violin’ Ending Explained
From the beginning, it was established that Mehmet’s world revolved around his art. Nothing was more important to him than his own life, routine, and rehearsals. In the pursuit of his passion, he neglected his family, or one could say, he never bothered to have a family. But Ozlem changed everything.
Though everyone else believed that Mehmet was a changed man, there was one test waiting for him to approve his transformation.
Mehmet and Suna didn’t know that Ozlem was allergic to nuts, and while they were busy with their rehearsal, Ozlem bought a nut ice cream and suffered an attack. Ms. İnci doubted Mehmet’s ability to raise Ozlem and took her back to the orphanage. Ozlem thought that Mehmet and Suna had given her away and started hating them. Suna convinced Mehmet that they would rescue Ozlem from the orphanage after their concert, but Ozlem ran away on the same day.
Minutes before his performance, Mehmet discovered that Ozlem was missing. At this point, he had two choices: either to perform for the concert, which apparently was his life’s biggest performance so far, or sacrifice his dream to find his niece and help her before any mishap happened to her. Fortunately, Mehmet, who had understood the importance of human attachment and emotions, decided to help Ozlem and left the concert. He found Ozlem in the garden where she often visited with her father. Ozlem expressed her desire to perform at the concert, and Mehmet couldn’t refuse her innocent request. He brought Ozlem to the stage, where they performed together like she used to perform with Ali.
Will Mehmet Be Able To Adopt Ozlem?
Due to the carelessness of the management, Ozlem ran away from the orphanage. Mehmet could blame them for the mistake like they blamed him and argue that anyone can make a mistake and, as a result, everyone deserves a second chance. What happened has happened, and none of us has the power to change the past. What we can do is to take action for a better future, and evidently, Ozlem’s happiness lies with Mehmet and Suna, who have already accepted her as their own child. Both husband and wife had an emptiness inside them, which was probably caused by the lack of a child. Thankfully, Ozlem filled that emptiness with happiness, and now the three of them can stay happily together.
‘My Father’s Violin’ is a Musical Drama film directed by Andaç Haznedaroglu. It is streaming on Netflix.