In a world where everyone is out to make money and seek power, irrespective of the lack of morals the process involves, we meet Sadik Demir, or the titular good man, in Uluç Bayraktar’s Turkish mystery-thriller “10 Days of a Good Man,” played by Turkish actor Nejat Isler. The movie is based on a novel, and it shows how a naïve former advocate learns to play by the rules in this lawless world and manages to outwit a horde of villainous people, who could truly put the monsters in horror movies to shame. After having suffered in both his professional and personal lives, Sadik manages to turn his life around in either field, all the while keeping alive his jovial and friendly nature. With quite a few plot lines in the movie, let’s find out what happens in this entertaining weekend flick.
Whatever Happened To The Angel Of A Boy, Tevfik?
When we first meet Sadik, he’s dressed as you’d expect a typical detective to be, with a rough beard and a long, woolen jacket that he never abandons. However, beyond the outward appearance, he’s a rather sweet man who extends his hand upon meeting anyone new, irrespective of what plans they might have up their sleeves. The first case that the lawyer-turned-wannabe detective received was the search for a missing boy named Tevfik, who was apparently an angel in his mother Yeter’s eyes. After suffering a few hardships and even more painful attacks from the stronger, more violent foes, Sadik started realizing that the “Nightingale,” as Yeter called her son, was more of a hell-spawn that was engaged in some of the worst activities known to man. From drug peddling to prostitution and human trafficking to probably funding terrorism, Tevfik oversaw quite a few horrendous activities, and that too, right under the nose of the underground mafia called Sir. It was even more of an insult to the wrench-wielding mafia that Tevfik stole 50,000 euros and invoices for smuggled cars from his locker while having a rather physical relationship with him. He was not alone in his venture though; he was ordering around Sir’s right-hand man, Hamza, and having him carry out all the dirty work while he made the calls from the shadows.
What started as the case of finding a boy who had gotten himself mixed up with the wrong crowd led to the case of stolen money and car receipts, and that was just the tip of the crime-laden iceberg. Tevfik, a vile degenerate in every sense of the word, had sold his sister Pinar to the shady Macit—the husband of Sadik’s boss Maide— made worse by the fact that she’s underage. Although initially, she managed to put on a brave face while handling the evils men bring to this world, Pinar broke down upon learning Macit had made videos of her in incriminating situations. Sadik—the good man, as he’s known—made the paedophilic Macit cough up everything he knew about the shady dealings that Tevfik was involved in before making him delete everything he had on Pinar. With a lot of prodding and a little stroke of luck, the whole truth came to the forefront, and it was complicated, to say the least.
Tevfik, who had Sir’s complete confidence, stole money and the receipts from him. The receipts for the cars belonged to the Kaan Corporation, owned by two diabolical albino twins, Kamil and Bilge. Kamil was so twisted in the head that he believed unbridled and unadulterated pleasure could be found only after crossing the thresholds of fear and terror. In their search for pure pleasure, the twins would torture people to death, and Tevfik — smart as he was — made a video of the twins murdering someone. The proof was to be dumped by ex-commissioner Cevdet Koru, but he decided to keep the bloodstained knife and, together with Tevfik, started blackmailing the twins. The only thing Cevdet didn’t take into consideration was that Tevfik was a greedy monster who’d get rid of anyone and everyone when they’d served their purpose, and the same happened with Cevdet, with a little help from his wife, Kadriye. Tevfik sweet-talked Kadriye—a victim of domestic abuse from Cevdet—to spike his drink before he left, and following his car crash and burn, Kaan Corporation’s men arrived to gather the bloody knife that was the piece of blackmail. The only string that tied all this together for Sadik, though, was Yeter’s request—the mother pleaded with the detective to stop looking for the son she had begged to be brought home. Sadik knew there could be only one reason a mother would make such a request—the monster of a son had made her.
It took Sadik around nine days to extract sense from the pile of mayhem, all the while having signed deals with Sir as well as the twins to deliver the bane of their existence, Tevfik. Sadik used the help of his amnesiac actress friend Meral to pose as Cevdet’s secret lover and invited Tevfik and Kadriye to her empty flat, which was guarded by Hamza. Sadik put on his action gloves, disarmed Hamza, put a bullet in his knee, and made Kadriye reveal the entire story. The detective took Tevfik to a safe location, went to the twins, gathered the money, and left the twins’ assistant Nuri with a bullet in his knee as well. The twins had just started their perverse series of tortures on Tevfik after their men had taken him back to their mansion when Sir and his entire army showed up—as a way to return the favor he owed Sadik, the master sleuth. We’re left guessing what happened to the diabolical twins and Sir’s favorite pet, Tevfik, but judging by the way he held the claw-shaped wrench Bulldog in his hand (a special tool Sir used to rip out the bones of the ones who upset him), the three must’ve discovered pure pleasure or died in unimaginable agony.
Sadik does find Tevfik after all, but not in the circumstances any of us could’ve expected. Tevfik was in his early 20s, and at such an age, he was horrible enough to sell his sister, organize a prostitution ring, and get little girls hooked on drugs. The detective fulfills his promise, but that’s only half the story; what happens in his personal life?
Does The Hopeless Romantic Sadik Find Love Again?
Sadik used to be a lawyer—’used to’ being the keyword here—thanks to his ex-wife Rezzan. As a legal partner in a firm, she couldn’t help but do something rather shady—embezzlement or something similar that’d help her climb the social ranks faster—and when the law came calling, she threw her husband under the bus. Sadik, the “good man,” went to jail for seven years, taking the blame for his wife, who repaid him exactly how a loving and loyal partner should: she left Sadik and married a rich man named Arif. All these years later, Rezzan was back, once more in trouble, once more asking Sadik to take the fall. Does she even listen to herself?
Sadik had learned his lesson already and was refusing her flatly at first. But the romantic mind of his—that’s another story. In his dreams, Sadik would always find himself on the tropical island he wanted to visit, and he’d be rowing a gondola, and each time, the woman as his co-passenger used to be Rezzan, until he realized that he loved Fatima—a prostitute who quit her work because she fell in love with this older detective. Fatima was a young sex worker who was beaten mercilessly by her handler when she wanted to quit (Sadik had Sir rip their knuckles off), but she was more honest than the selfish crone Rezzan could ever hope to be. The worst part of it all, though, is that she lied to Sadik, saying she was pregnant now and needed him to take the fall. On the tenth day of the events, Sadik did meet with Rezzan and her husband, Arif, but wanted twice the amount agreed. He received the money and asked the law-breaking couple to reveal their crimes. Twenty minutes later, he revealed that their entire confession to the fraud had been recorded, and now he offers Arif a choice: do like her ex-husband and take the fall for dear, loving Rezzan. However, the generous Arif takes the second option—he walks out on her, and she’s left to face the full extent of the law while Sadik goes home with a bag loaded with cash. Before leaving, however, when Rezzan asks what happened to the unequivocally good man she knew, Sadik responds that, after all that happened to him in these few years, “I’m just.”
Back at his dilapidated apartment, his fiancée Fatima and friend Meral awaited him, and the three of them left for Eskisehir, but he left behind his woolen jacket and his name. Now calling himself Adil, he has no need to play detective anymore, and he will no longer be cold either, thanks to Fatima’s loving embrace. So, the romantic fool ensures that everyone, from the truly vile ones like Tevfik and the Kaan twins to the frauds like his ex-wife Rezzan, faces justice while he leaves for a peaceful city with a new name, a loving fiancée, a great friend, and a bag full of money. Ultimately, this is what we mean when we talk about an underdog’s victory.