10 Days of a Good Man, the Turkish Netflix original film, was convoluted enough, even though the climax had a surprising twist. The sequel 10 Days of a Bad Man, released on August 18, 2023, on the platform, is a continuation of the first film. Directed once again by Uluç Bayraktar and written by Mehmet Eroglu and Damla Serim, both movies are adaptations of Mehmet Eroglu’s novels. The story is built in a way to create mystery and intrigue.
10 Days of a Bad Man begins with Sadik, who now refers to himself as Adil, recovering from a car accident. He is immediately brought in front of Sir, the gangster from the first film, by the mafioso’s henchmen, Zeynel and Huso. Even though Sir and Sadik’s deal was closed two years ago, Sadik now owes him a lot of money because of the car accident and the subsequent hospital bills paid by the gangster. Sir offers him the task of locating a boy named Ferhat Gonen, a rich brat who needs to be caught. No apparent reasons have been given to Sadik for the boy’s capture, but Sir will clear the debt if the task is completed successfully. Impressed by how Sadik was able to nab Tevfik two years ago, Sir chose the same man for this job. Sadik, who is persistent about people calling him Sadik, hires Pinar again to use her investigation skills to get close to people that Ferhat might know. Simultaneously, Sadik is hired by Maide’s friend Dr. Buket to investigate the robbery and murder of her rich uncle, Dr. Hasmet. Her mother, Ismet, was not satisfied with the police investigation, and she was keen on finding out who committed the murder and why. Sadik’s work on both cases begins at the same time. The audience is keen to know the outcome of this two hour and four minute long film.
The premise of this film was different from what we saw in the previous one. There is a pinch of humor added at the beginning of 10 Days of a Bad Man. The makers structured this movie in such a manner that it was convoluted and stretched. The two narratives are presented in such a shoddy fashion that there is no way this film remains engaging. Initially, it did feel like the writers were in control of the narrative. Very quickly, the parallel plot got out of hand, as the writers had no idea how to close these two chapters. Honestly, this two-hour-long film could have been a three-part miniseries. Given the amount of information packed into one movie, presenting the story in two to three different episodes would have made a lot more sense. It would have kept the overall narrative engaging as well.
The makers spent too much time on the murder investigation, for there was subplot after subplot that did not make any sense at all. There was no excitement or tension created to know who the killer could be. Everything from start to finish was predictable and exhausting. After a point, the writer and the director also forget about the task given by the gangster to nab Ferhat. That subplot turned into a crusade to get rid of the gangster, using a character from the previous film. The last 15 minutes of this movie could have been reduced to a five-minute epilogue. There are way too many characters. Plenty of loopholes and stories have not been given a proper closure.
Many basic things were absent from the screenplay. The last film showcased Sadik as a person who is willing to help people, which is why he is given the title “the good man” by Pinar. In this film, nothing was added as a part of Sadik’s character traits that could deem him “The Bad Man.” No one calls him that at any point in the movie. When Sadik discovered the killer, Ismet, Dr. Buket’s mother was not informed about it. The backstory constructed around the dynamics of Ismet’s rich family is too complicated and rushed, making the reveal and the motive confusing.
The story of 10 Days of a Bad Man fetishizes young girls. The movie pairs an older man with a very young female character. There is no chemistry, and it seems this was done just to titillate the audience. This narrative of young girls such as Pinar going after older men sets a wrong precedent. It propagates the idea of grooming. We are sure girls in their late teens or early twenties are the target audience of this film. It normalizes the idea of women wanting to seek men who are ten to twenty years older and relying on them for comfort and wealth. In the first film, women are seen as people who come into a man’s life to heal him from his past traumas. 10 Days of a Bad Man communicates the exact same idea, which is a problematic message to give out.
The direction of the film was dreadful. Uluç Bayraktar did not have the power to make the narrative tight. Many scenes could have been removed from the final product, but the director somehow chose to keep them for no apparent reason. A lot of scenes did not have any purpose in the major plot of the film. The director was trying to evoke the Knives Out style of narration, but it fell flat. The entire film, after a point, becomes a cringe-fest because there is no sense of urgency. The writer and the director took the film too seriously, but the way each aspect was shown is laughable. The production design and the costumes in this film are commendable, though. The quality of locations and the wardrobe chosen for the characters have significantly improved.
The performances of the actors in 10 Days of a Bad Man are subpar. None of them were able to bring out the emotions that were required to pull through this film till the end. All of them are in suave, fashionable clothes, but none of them have an arc that stands out. Nejat Isler’s performance as Sadik or Adil is mediocre, as he only keeps chuckling and laughing. His character went through a tragedy, but no catharsis was explored because of it. The blame would go to the direction and the writing. These two departments did not give the lead character any complexity to play around with. Ilayda Akdogan, as Pinar, is annoying throughout. Her odd pairing with Sadik makes most of their scenes awkward. The third film of the series 10 Days of a Curious Man is expected to release sometime this year. Audiences can only hope the third film is worth the time they spent watching it because the first and second films left a bad impression.