Turkish cinema is an untapped territory. As an Indian audience, we were surprised to see such niche comedy cinema coming out of the country, which most of us weren’t even aware of. “Man on Pause” or “Andropoz” is one such original work to come out of Turkey. It is a Netflix Original miniseries directed by Durul Taylan and was released on the platform on 7th October 2022.
What Happens In The ‘Man On Pause’ Series?
Yusuf (Engin Gunaydin) is the owner of a lingerie store in the town. He has recently turned 50 and is going through a lot of changes, which he is very vocal about. As per his family, he is seeking happiness by changing the color of his hair, changing his wardrobe, and changing his attitude toward life. His family is adjusting to his new version, but Yusuf loves his wife and kids too much to hurt them. Soon, he devises plans to upscale his business and asks his young teenage son to assist him. Meanwhile, Yusuf’s wife, Meryem (Derya Karadas), is concerned after noticing the transformation Yusuf is going through and requests Yusuf’s sister and brother-in-law to speak to him and understand why Yusuf is going the extra mile. Yusuf eventually decides to buy a beach house and conveys the same to his wife. Meryem is initially skeptical of his decision but eventually succumbs to his justifications. They decide to sell their present home and the cabin, which belongs to Meryem, to purchase the beach house.
The owner of the beach is a rich man, Mahmut (Turgut Tuncalp), who is himself embroiled in a divorce from his first wife, Sahinde (Gülçin Santircioglu), and loves his Russian girlfriend, Svetlana (Yuliia Sobol). Sahinde is adamant about not ending the marriage, but Mahmut has moved on. His young twin daughters with Sahinde live with him and are spoiled to the tee. Sahinde goes miles to sabotage the sale of the beach house and keeps demanding to increase the alimony. Ahu (Melissa Dilber) and Asu (Merih Dilber), daughters of Sahinde and Mahmut, head to Yusuf’s lingerie store, where Ahu starts flirting with him. She also invites him over to her father’s palatial mansion to seduce him, but the plan fails miserably. Ahu eventually gets his attention, and Yusuf, carried away by her beauty, succumbs to her advances, not knowing she is Mahmut’s daughter.
On the other hand, Yusuf’s sister, Fadime (Sebnem Hassanisoughi), is unhappy in her marriage with Halit. They have been married for quite some time, but Fadime intends to leave him because he is abusive in nature. Halit is jolted by Fadime’s decision and goes into rehab with the hope of improving himself for the sake of the marriage and his love for Fadime, but Fadime has made up her mind. She also tells Yusuf and Meryem about her pregnancy, her affair, and the child belonging to her boyfriend, not Halit. Fadime decides to divorce him, and Halit falls apart, not before brutally hurting Fadime.
‘Man On Pause’ Ending Explained: How Does Yusuf Save Himself From Mahmut Timucin?
Yusuf falls for Ahu’s charm, confidence, and beauty; succumbs to her advances and, in a fit of passion, conveys his love for her. To Yusuf’s horror, the message is read by Ahu’s father, Mahmut, who, in a fit of rage with his girlfriend Svetlana, heads to Yusuf’s store to confront him and possibly kill him. Mahmut recognizes Yusuf as the person planning to purchase his beach house. Mahmut heads to the cabin with Svetlana to confront Yusuf. At that spot, Svetlana is killed by Mahmut’s wife. Mahmut is devastated, but Sahinde confronts Mahmut and aggressively talks about her need to be with him and the family they have nurtured for years. Yusuf, who is now on the run, calls up Meryem and confesses to having made a mistake but swears on not touching the woman he was texting. Meryem trusts him and asks Halit to help Yusuf get out of this situation. Yusuf is still unaware of the fact that Mahmut is not just Ahu’s father but also the beach house owner. Halit in an intoxicated state heads out to help him but gets into a car accident, which he miraculously survives. Sahinde being herself, a rash, loudmouth, controlling woman, has a one-night stand with Halit and goes into a rage when he disappears the next day. She now helps Mahmut get rid of Svetlana’s body and hopes nobody will come to look for her. Mahmut finally reveals to Sahinde that he is no longer willing to be a part of this marriage and asks her to agree to the divorce.
Meryem helps Yusuf escape from the ambush at the cabin and makes sure the cabin is sold as soon as possible. Once they receive the cabin money, Yusuf heads to offer the money to Mahmut, who assaults him for messing with his daughter Ahu. Ahu comes to Yusuf’s rescue and corroborates his claims to have never touched her. Yusuf goes back to his store with the money only to see it completely renovated. Yusuf cannot recognize his store anymore and is shocked to know the amount his teenage son and his girlfriend spent revamping it. Soon, Svetlana’s brother comes looking for her at Mahmut’s home and yacht. At the yacht, it is revealed that Sahinde had revealed Mahmut’s location and accused him of murdering Svetlana. Mahmut is killed by Svetlana’s brother. The show ends with Halit getting back with Sahinde, Fadime following her passion for paragliding, and Yusuf making his shop go online, and finally buying the beach house with Meryem for his family.
“Man On Pause” or “Andropoz” does a fabulous job of turning this comedy into a black comedy. A family man who is, in a way, a misfit gets embroiled in a situation he never thought he would get into. In the writing area, the writer/actor Engin Gunaydin does a fantastic job of tying up all the loose ends, and the story comes to a satisfactory conclusion. Though Halit’s plotline did not seem like a conclusive end as the abusive man, he did not deserve to get the ending showcased in the series. A comical redemption arc does not do any justice to what his character does to Fadime in the show. It will be hilarious to know if there will be a second season and how the makers will take the story forward. Engin Gunaydin, here as the writer and the actor who wrote the role of Yusuf, aptly presents the man in his 50’s going through menopause, also known as andropoz, with such perfection. Yusuf goes through varied emotions such as the need to change himself, to seek love outside of his home, and in the fit of a midlife crisis, buying a beach house for himself and his family. Yusuf goes miles to satisfy his changing hormones and constantly conveys that people should always be doing what is right for themselves as we all live only once. A midlife crisis that surely every man and woman goes through after a certain age has been showcased brilliantly in the show.
Through “Man on Pause,” writer Engin Gunaydin and directors Durul Taylan and Yagmur Taylan deliver something endearing and hilarious to the audience. Through just six episodes, they manage to convey many plot lines that come to a conclusive end. The screenplay is tight and crisp, and the humor is on point. The performances of a few actors are not up to the mark, but the story and the screenplay hold the show on their own without derailing from the narrative. I only had an issue with the show trivializing domestic abuse. The show, through Fadime, talks about Halit being abusive, which nobody pays any attention to. Yusuf and his wife are okay with what Halit did to Yusuf’s sister and move on. That portion of the show felt regressive. Otherwise, “Man on Pause” is funny, engaging, and a must-watch because how often do you come across a show that talks to the audience about the menopause a man or a woman goes through? A comedy of errors and misunderstandings done right.
“Man on Pause” is a Turkish Netflix Original now streaming on the platform with subtitles.