UFO is one of the rare TV-MA young adult romances from Netflix that doesn’t seem to rely on lust but rather love to get you to stick around.


Director(s) Dnur Bigetay
Screenplay By Meryem Gultabak
Date Released 2/23/2022
Where To Watch Netflix
Genre(s) Comedy, Crime, Drama, Romance, Young Adult, Non-English (Turkish)
Duration 1 Hour, 50 Minutes
Content Rating TV-MA
Noted Cast
Deniz Ipek Filiz Yazici
Ese Mert Ramazan Demir
Beren Nilsu Yilmaz

Film Summary

Deniz grew up in a household where both her parents have picked fights with each other for as long as she can remember, and to escape, she would write music and sing. That is, alongside hope a UFO would abduct her and take her away from her home. As for Ese? With his parents abandoning him when he was 2, he was raised by his community and has become their champion for motorbike racing. With a UFO sticker, his bike is what Deniz first notices before Ese begins to court her, and together, they make a cute couple.

However, with coming from very different socio-economic statuses, paired with Ese’s activities, Deniz is pulled between what she wants and her parents. And while there isn’t some huge, insurmountable obstacle causing a divide in their relationship, with both at the brink of adulthood, new love is challenging.

Other Noteworthy Information

  • Reason(s) for Film Rating: Cursing (Occasional cursing), Miscellaneous (Mention of drug dealing, criminal activity)

Collected Quote(s)

Too much tolerance costs you money, too much of a conscience costs you life.
— Beren

Characters Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Deniz

For most of her life, Deniz has dealt with her mother and father seemingly being together solely for the bottling business they are both part of. Beyond that, love has long left, and her existence is the only product of what once was or was attempted.

But, thanks to her parents’ drama, Deniz has often been inspired to write, sing, record, and even mix songs, and ultimately, the dream is to get into a music school and not into one that would benefit the family company.

Ese

Abandoned at the age of two, Ese has spent his life with members of a community who may not be blood relations, but they are his family. So when they discovered his knack for motorcycle racing, they all invested in him, even to the point of putting the rent on the line. Thus making Ese the people’s champion before he ever won a title.

Beren

Deniz and Beren (Nilsu Yilmaz) hanging out
Deniz and Beren (Nilsu Yilmaz)

Beren is Deniz’s best friend who is a filmmaker in the making.

Review

Highlights

How Both Leads Are Established As Individuals

When it comes to Ese and Deniz, through conversation and meeting the people who are their friends and family, it becomes clear fast that these are fully developed people. Deniz wanting to become a musician isn’t a whim. She records, writes, has learned software and chords, and while shy, she is undeniably talented. Then, when it comes to her whole UFO thing, you get it. With how her parents are and the fact she is used as fodder for fights, I, too, would want to leave this planet to get away from them.

As for Ese? What you have to love about him and his story is that, with being abandoned when he was two and being raised by his community, he takes his role seriously. Him helping the people who raised him out of the goodness of their hearts is a big deal for him. Also, the love he gets from the women in his life is never taken for granted. They are his champions, his sisters, aunts, and maternal figures who feed him, might have bathed him, and made it so he wants for nothing.

So when we see Ese and Deniz get together, it isn’t because they are lacking in any which way you can imagine. They come to the relationship as people with a certain abundance to share, rather than arms and hands out grabbing at what they can get.

Ese’s Community

Ese (Mert Ramazan Demir) at a party
Ese (Mert Ramazan Demir)

The romance with Deniz is a bonus when it comes to UFO. This whole movie could have been about Ese and the women in his life, and maybe the handful of men too. For while I can’t necessarily say who is who, I can tell you that when Ese wasn’t with Deniz, all eyes were on the three women he shared a home with who always made their presence known and sometimes stole the scene.

A Mutually Beneficial Relationship

Ese and Deniz have a supportive, loving, and ideal relationship. Yet, it isn’t the case of him being this bad boy and her this bland girl looking for excitement. Don’t get me wrong, Ese’s bike races, where he is doing a Superman pose while riding, that is scary and thrilling. However, I think his approach beginning with him admiring her UFO tattoo and them talking and getting to know each other, is different.

Note, it isn’t corny whatsoever, but it shows you how many relationships start, especially those that can go the distance. It’s built on mutual interest, admiration, encouraging one another, and showing up. For whether it is Ese getting Deniz to sing or supporting her college aspirations, it is Deniz wanting to support Ese’s dreams, including giving him money to fix his bike after one of her friends messes his up.

This give and take makes you feel invested, and as they face struggles that by no means are over the top, you get a genuine worry that these little things could trip them up, considering they have so much going on outside of each other.

On The Fence

Wishing The Races Were More Intense

You’d think with Ese’s dream and world being races, the few we see (Maybe three at most) would be these the kind which would have you biting your nails, but they don’t. Don’t get me wrong, they look dangerous, but the way the scenes are shot, cut, and the sound? It doesn’t put you in Ese’s mindset or into Deniz’s while watching him. You don’t really get the ability to suspend disbelief and be in the moment.

Overall

Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Deniz (Ipek Filiz Yazici) leaving her house
Deniz (Ipek Filiz Yazici)

What drives UFO isn’t so much Ese’s racing, but UFO being a young adult romance that never pursues being over the top or having the relationship be problematic. Deniz is a whole person with her own dreams, issues, and something she brings to the relationship. Ese has a whole story outside of Deniz, with aspirations and struggles he is dealing with, and together the main thing they do is better each other. They add rather than take away, and even outside of the young adult romance sub-genre that’s hard to find.

Hence the positive label. While we do wish Ese’s races were on the level of hearing Deniz sing, you can’t have it all but what we’re given is damn near perfect for those who love movies that have a notable focus on romance.

Movie Directory

An old school film reel drawn by artist Dean Nelson.

On The Radar


Ratings

  • Recommended: Some of the best-seen movies we have ever watched and mentioned to friends, family, and strangers as films that need to be seen.
  • Positive (Worth Seeing): Whether you’ll have to go to the movies, download, or stream, movies of this category are worth your time and money with few, if any, qualms from us.
  • Mixed (Divisive): Due to this movie having a few quirks, of which may work for some and for others be a problem, we believe your enjoyment of this movie will depend on your taste.
  • Negative (Acquired Taste): While one or two elements kept us going until the end, unfortunately, we’re of the opinion this film never reached the potential it was marketed to have.

Special Categories/ Tags

  • Indie: By our definition, independent films are films you have to seek to find due to limited availability or lack of a marketing push.
  • Film Festival: Featured in this tag are films and shorts which were discovered thanks to various film festivals, so some of the productions may not have wide availability but still may deserve to be on your watch.
  • Shorts: Be it ten or fifteen minutes, or a half-hour, these quick teases or films get right to the point, often show the potential of filmmakers and the actors who have joined them in their journey.
  • Ending Spoilers: Trying to remember how a film ended, or want a different take on the ending, then check out the "ending spoilers" category. 
Title Card - UFO (2022)
UFO (2022) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)
Who Is This For?
Those who enjoy young adult romance films that aren’t overly dramatic, strangely don’t have sex scenes, and are really about two people, with whole lives, coming together and sharing what they have with one another.
Highlights
A Mutually Beneficial Relationship
Ese's Community
How Both Leads Are Established As Individuals
Disputable
Wishing The Races Were More Intense
84


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Avatar of Amari

I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.

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