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Kurt Seyit and Sura (2014) TV Review: Prepare To Be Swept Off Your Feet

 Kurt Seyit and Sura Review

In the last couple of years, I’ve begun expanding my viewing to include international television series. It started with a Tumblr recommendation to watch Grand Hotel, which introduced me to Spain’s excellent Downton Abbey equivalent. Thereafter, things escalated quite quickly.

My first Turkish production was Magnificent Century, which truly had me so hooked I inhaled what felt like a million episodes. The lesson learnt is that there is a veritable buffet of incredible television produced across the world. Spain, South Korea, Turkey, Italy – all countries with booming television industries producing incredible content.

Based on a novel by Nermin Bezmen, the granddaughter of the real Kurt Seyit, Kurt Seyit and Sura is a Turkish gem guaranteed to sweep you off your feet.

Kurt seyit and sura

Sura, You Are So Pure, So Beautiful

Kurt Seyit and Sura is centered around WWI and tells the story of Seyit Eminoff (Kivanç Tatlitug), a handsome, principled Turkish lieutenant who falls in love with Sura (Farah Zeynep Abdullah), the privileged daughter of an aristocratic Russian family. Although it’s love at first sight for Seyit and Sura, there are mountains of obstacles to barrel through in the name of their blazing love.

RELATED: Grand Hotel Review – An Addicting Romantic Series For All Period Drama Lovers

Seyit’s family, for example, wants him to marry a Turkish woman who shares their culture and background. His best friend Pietro (Birkan Sokullu) plots in secret to separate Seyit and Sura as part of a long term revenge scheme. In addition, Sura’s self doubt acts as an ever present agent which challenges fate’s plan for the lovers to finally find their happy ending.

Every breath you take is my breath. Your name is a prayer on my lips. I repeat it at every waking moment. All my prayers are for you. My love for you cannot be described.

As war escalates, Seyit must leave to fight on the front lines. Eventually the lovers flee to Istanbul in an attempt to start their life together. But their troubles continue to present them with challenges. Will Seyit and Sura win the battle for their love, or will Pietro and Seyit’s family destroy it?

Apart from the central love story, Kurt Seyit and Sura deals with culture, familial obligation, friendship, duty and honor.

You Are My Reason For Staying Alive

Kurt Seyit and Sura

It must be said that Kurt Seyit and Sura is deeply romantic. Deeply. The initial episodes in particular play like the perfect historical romance. The will-they-won’t-they aspect is bursting with incredible romantic tension – enough to ensure you binge the first four episodes at least. I don’t recall a show in recent memory that is so unapologetically focused on romance. The longing stares, the stuttered breath, the goosebumps you feel on behalf of the couple on screen. Its incredible, its palpable and I greedily consumed it with glee. The writing is also quite poetic. Some of the dialogue is just divine, while others do have a whiff of cheese.

First you used your eyes as skillfully as you use your gun first lieutenant. You shot me right through the heart. Then you held me captive with your love.

Kivanç Tatlitug, the hero of the story, is probably the most handsome man currently wandering the earth. He’s like a young Brad Pitt, only 1000 times more striking. I’m also pleased to announce that he is a powerhouse of raw emotion. Quite possibly the best actor in the cast, he is magnificent at every turn.

Seyit is passionate, loyal but also quiet, thoughtful and sensitive. He understands his duty but also wears his heart – especially his feelings for Sura – quite plainly on his sleeve. It’s not an easy role to play but in the hands of Kivanç Tatlitug, Seyit is truly a three dimensional, well rounded character. I know I’ve just mentioned this, but he’s also seriously, seriously good looking. Those eyes! The beard! His smile! A lethal combination designed to have you reaching for your smelling salts. So be warned. Have them well on hand!

RELATED: Sadece Sen (2014) Film Review -A Gritty, Romantic Turkish Drama of Love and Sacrifice

Beside him, Farah Zeynep Abdullah is a good match. The strength and the intensity of her performance grows as the series progresses until she matches Tatlitug. On screen, their chemistry is quite palpable and when they finally meet each other (it takes a minute) I found myself biting my fist in anticipation. The evolution of their relationship is an interesting one to watch unfold. The romance remains high on the writers’ agenda though, so despite the numerous challenges, the romantic undertones remain firmly in place.

Sisters, friends, extended families and Pietro, a smirking ne’er-do-weller, all form part of Kurt Seyit and Sura’s sprawling ensemble cast. Some of the alternate storylines are interesting, others are not. There are a few that fall prey to underdeveloped writing, but this is not unique to this production. Birkan Sokullu has arguably the largest role apart from the leads, as he plays Seyit’s best friend and covert rival.

I Would Like To Make This Moment Last Forever

Kurt Seyit and Sura

There is a lot to love about Kurt Seyit and Sura. The cast is stellar and the production values incredible. In addition, the costumes are sublime and the cinematography in particular puts this in league with the recent War and Peace adaptation. The story is incredibly emotional – perhaps to some western audiences it might seem a little over the top. For example, there is a lot of crying by the male and female cast members. I quite enjoyed the equal opportunities to show emotion for both genders.

Holding your hand is not just a blessing. It’s a need for me. Like my heartbeat. Like the air I breathe.

The more dramatic elements also eventually dilute some of the high production values, veering the show into soap opera territory. Despite that, the central messaging about honour, love, friendship and family is impressive. Alongside it, while the series serves up bottomless angst and romance, it does not default to graphic or even gratuitous sex scenes. This means that for the most part, everyone can enjoy Kurt Seyit and Sura.

RELATED: 50 of the Most Unabashedly Romantic TV Shows

There is however, a lot to vex. As the series progresses, melodramatic elements become a little grating. Character inconsistencies emerge and storytelling mechanisms appear out of nowhere (voiceovers for example). Thankfully they also disappear later, so it’s par for the course. In addition, over-reliance on slomo techniques and particular pieces of the score becomes tiresome when repeatedly visited. Pietro as a character (and also the main villain) becomes eye-roll inducing (and literally moustache twirling) and does tend to test one’s patience.

Kurt Seyit and Sura

Mild Spoilers Ahead

The ending of the series might also be a challenge for some. While it’s happy, it might not be the brand of happy you’re shopping for.

That said, Kurt Seyit and Sura is well worth wading through some of the anachronisms to experience the butterfly inducing, angst riddled, yet riveting romance.

I Entrust My Heart To You

There is a lot to get through with Kurt Seyit and Sura. With 46 episodes, each generally a solid hour, it’s a lot of television to consume. I’d recommend taking your time. There is also a lot to digest.

Overall, if you love period drama and a healthy dose of swoon worthy romance, Kurt Seyit and Sura will not disappoint. The show is subtitled, so if that’s a challenge for you, be strong. It’s well worth it.

Content Note: TV-14 for wartime scenes and mild sensuality.

Where to Watch: Kurt Seyit and Sura is available to stream on Netflix US.

Have you watched Kurt Seyit and Sura? Did it induce swooning on a constant loop? Comment below and let me know!


Photo Credit: Ay Yapım

OVERALL RATING

“The stuff that dreams are made of.”

ROMANCE RATING

“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.

I have loved none but you.”

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By on November 7th, 2017

About Naazneen Samsodien

Naazneen hails from South Africa and has spent most of her life steeped quite happily in fandom. A corporate Human Resource professional by day, she completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology and is currently completing her MPhil at the University of Cape Town. She spends her nights in a parallel universe where her creative pursuits find meaningful outlets. When she is not doing research, writing fanfiction or reading the latest novel for her book club, she is voraciously consuming information on pop culture and global socio-political issues - or quite simply, travelling the world. She loves words, fangirling shamelessly, Mr. Darcy and rugged beards... a lot.

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15 thoughts on “Kurt Seyit and Sura (2014) TV Review: Prepare To Be Swept Off Your Feet”

  1. Oh Nazneen, you did this series justice! You hit on all the good and bad points I also felt about it. But as you said, it is hopelessly romantic and I just can’t help but love it anyway. Plus, I’ll take any excuse to stare at our hero!

    Reply
  2. Yay!! I’ve been waiting for you guys to review this! I love, love, LOVE this series soooo much!!! Possibly my favorite of the year! Kivanç is stunning, and his acting just gets better and better. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an actor cry quite like this gem! Your review made my day and captured everything I loved about this show! Also if you ever get the chance to see some of Kivanç’s other series, you should – particularly Kuzey Guney and Cesur Ve Guzel! They’re not on Netflix, but fingers crossed they will be soon!! He just keeps getting better!

    Reply
  3. Great review (and beautiful blog)! I, too, stumbled on to this show and was immediately consumed. Who knew TURKISH drama could be so good and Turkish actors so spectacular? I was so enamoured by the show and acting that I started a blog so I could review the show and post about the historical backdrop (Russian Revolution, Crimea, Istanbul, WWI, etc). Kivanc Tatlitug is so so fantastic, that I’ve spent the rest of 2017 watching his shows, and I even met him in September! If you have been “Kivanced” by Kivanc Tatlitug and want to interact with other English speakers online, you are in good company. Check out Kivanc Tatlitug North America–FB, Twitter, IG, Youtube, Pinterest. I am on the Kivanc Tatlitug North America FB FORUM and the discussions are great! (For historical backdrop of KSvS and my experience meeting him see GingerMonette.com)

    Reply
    • Ah you lucky woman to meet this man. I am a pretty old woman and I have never seen such a stunning man in my life. My poor husband is jealous as I am binge watching this series! Are you still following him and what is your site? Do you know if there are any plans to put him in a US movie. I can’t believe noone has done this already as I see him taking the US by storm.

      Reply
  4. I am just about to start this series over my university break! I’ve been listening to the soundtrack repeatedly and I read your review in preparation. 🙂 Really looking forward to this one!

    Reply
  5. I just need to first say thank you for being so awesome as to include reviews of shows and films from different countries outside of English-speaking ones; both Gran Hotel and Kurt Seyit ve Sura were my first forays into foreign TV, and I am now completely hooked on both. Although overall I have to say I do enjoy watching Gran Hotel more, the pure romanticism of THIS show is so rare to see on TV these days it’s a wonderful change from the norm, and the characters are so easy to get invested in. Your review is both accurate and fun to read, and I adore the quotes you chose!

    Nevertheless, while I do love Seyit and Sura’s story, particularly in its early stages, the romance that ended up thoroughly capturing my heart was actually that of Celil and Guzide. I wish so much that they could have been given more screen-time, but even the little we have is so beautiful in its bittersweetness; I let out such an enormous sigh of relief when we got to see their happy ending! What did you think of them?

    Reply
  6. Great review! I am now hooked on all these European shows. Started with Downton Abby then moved on to the Spanish shows. Grand Hotel, Velvet, Cable girls and Morroco. Loved them all and love the actors and actresses who are all gorgeous. You’ll see some of them in more than one of these shows. Then moved on to Turkey. I’m loving Seyrit and Sura!! Besides being a romantic story there is so much history woven into the story. I am also enjoying seeing the beauty of the culture, customs and traditions of the Turkish people. Is there a season 2?

    Reply
  7. I have watched this series several times, so much so, I can now enjoy without the English subtitles. This lets me experience more of the subtle expressions, body language, etc. that make this series so good. Your description was right on the mark. Great acting, beautiful costumes and scenery, wonderful cinematography. I had never watched a Turkish drama before, but I am so glad that I chose to watch this one. It can get a little soap opera ish, especially from episode 30 on, but well worth watching until the end to see what happens to Petro. Never saw that coming!. Thanks for sharing your review.

    Reply
  8. I have to say, I never thought I was jaded but I wished for just a tad more sexuality. I understand it wasn’t going to happen with a Turkish series but it didn’t stop me from wanting it. The bath scene had me hopeful for about 20 seconds but alas, even though it was sensual and beautiful, I could have settled for him just taking his shirt off. It is though an incredibly beautiful and sensual series and I know it will stay with me a long time.

    Reply
  9. I loved this series, I am hooked on Turkish series it is so much better than anything America does. It is quality and the romance and even the sexual scenes gets the point across in good taste. I also highly recommend Resurrection Ertugrul.

    Reply

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