CHENNAI: Train journeys can be exciting, and many of us have lovely memories of them. Film directors and authors have used the railroad to tell us romantic stories. As early as 1945, master moviemaker David Lean set his “Brief Encounter” in a small station, and against the cacophony of clanging coaches and puffing steam engines, he narrated his love story between a bored housewife (Celia Johnson) and a virtuous doctor (Trevor Howard). Indian auteurs have used the train to tell us tales of love and longing.
Now Netflix has given us the Turkish film “One-Way to Tomorrow,” and the plot unfolds almost entirely on a train journey. The movie comes after three original Turkish series from Netflix: “The Protector”, “The Gift” and “Love 101.”
Helmed by Ozan Aciktan, “One-Way to Tomorrow” has been adapted from the Swedish film “Hur Man Stoppar ett Bröllop,” and has just two characters, who meet aboard a train and are headed from Ankara to Izmir to attend a wedding at Urla.
Ali (Metin Akdulger) and Leyla (Dilan Cicek Deniz) have a rough start. Ali had booked the entire four-berth cubicle for himself and his friends, who do not show up. Instead he finds Leyla there, who had made a mistake about her date of journey but has to leave that day to attend her best friend’s wedding.
Ali is not very pleased to see Leyla, but coaxes the ticket conductor to allow her to travel in a country where an unmarried man and woman cannot be together. As the two begin to get comfortable with each other, Ali tells Leyla that he is going to Urla to try and convince his former girlfriend Burcu to not go ahead with her marriage to Berke who, it turns out, used to date Leyla.
Indeed a little too coincidental, but Aciktan turns his narrative into a gripping dialogue between Ali and Leyla. They laugh, fight, sulk, and even miss their train at a station on the way, having to take a taxi to catch it later. The work conveys most wonderfully, and in a disarmingly simple manner, the couple’s rage at being cheated, their utter dismay and deep sorrow.
How they eventually reconcile and connect form the latter part of the movie, and this is quite absorbing. The script and direction (with just about the entire story taking place in a moving train) are quite good, and we never seem to get bored with the couple, who squabble and smile and squabble again.