‘Who Were We Running From?’ Review: A Redundant Family Drama
In recent years, the Turkey scene has delivered some truly great films and TV series that have found their way to Netflix. This is one of the great advantages of such a global streaming system. It is able to distribute tons of new films and TV shows that would otherwise only be available to the locals in a particular area. Netflix can give these countries’ industries the exposure they deserve on a global scale, which is pretty much what everyone making a film wants. Who Were We Running From? This is just the latest example.
Who Were We Running From? Is a TV series developed for Netflix starring Melisa Sözen, Eylül Tumbar, and Musa Uzunlar. The series tells the story of a mother and daughter who keep moving around and staying in very luxurious hotels. However, the reason for their moving around hides a dark secret: a childhood filled with trauma and a powerful man trying to control everything. Mother and daughter must find their way in the world as they escape their destiny.
Who Were We Running From? is a very strange breed of a show. It isn’t particularly exciting but intriguing, which can carry a story a long way. Our main characters follow a path of mystery and tragedy, and they are not very fun. So when you find yourself rooting for them just to have a happy life, you know that the show has succeeded, at least on some level. However, even if the show is intriguing, and you want the characters to do well, there is something off about the entire project.
Who Were We Running From? It doesn’t know how to tell a story that feels satisfying, and that might be its biggest problem. Of course, this issue only arises after you have a couple of episodes under your belt. At that point, you discover that this show will be mostly a chase of cats and mice and that the participants will be just running around in circles. There are a couple of revelations here and there regarding some characters, but nothing that really stands out as too unpredictable.
And then comes the ending. I still don’t know if this series will continue for another season. But if this is the last we see of this story, I just have to say that it might be one of the most anticlimactic endings I have seen in a while. The series tries to build up toward some fateful encounter, only to treat that encounter as the most boring thing to ever happen in the series. Maybe, this story would have worked better in the form of a film. There is really not much here to justify the story’s length.
Melisa Sözen is a fantastic actress who leads the show with the energy of one of the greats. Her role is difficult, as she is a land of extremes. She can be both stern and sweet and equal measures, and this reflects on the character’s psychology. This is a very complicated woman who is trying to do her best in a situation that escapes her hands. It is really hard to watch her trying to find answers to questions that should not be asked in the first place. Trauma is a very hard thing to leave behind.
Eylül Tumbar performs really well as well, but she is, of course, just a couple of levels away from reaching Sozën’s level. The young actress has everything on her side to become a huge start in the future. Her eyes, especially, are quite expressive and will be a key factor in how she transmits her emotions through the screen. The chemistry between both actresses falls a bit flat, but you can say that it is all because of some narrative elements. It could be, but it doesn’t matter when the final result is off.
The rest of the cast does a good job, but outside of the main couple of mother and daughter, every other character feels like a stranger. They are there to participate in the plot, but they have zero character development. They are used more like devices than characters and are there only to perform an action that will make our main characters do something or not.
Visually, the series goes for a very classic look. You will not watch this show for some excellent mastery of the camera work or direction. Everything is very standard, and it could be that the creatives thought that the story was strong enough to carry the entire thing. It is always nice to watch a director go the extra mile and elevate the narrative through the use of visuals, but not all directors indeed have the time and money to do it.
In the end, Who Were We Running From? feels like a waste of time. This story could have been so much better and more powerful if it could go straight to the point and explore the characters’ traumas and lives more throughout. You might say that all the extra runtime that transforms this into a TV series could be considered depth, but depth without purpose is just a waste of time. The number of times the characters say the same thing repeatedly feels like a true red flag when it comes to knowing what should stay and go in a story.