Beyto (Burak Ates) is a multitasker. A Swiss son of Turkish immigrants, he can help out at his father’s (Serkan Tastemur) kebab shop and have the grades to be at the top of his class. He got those marks after staying at a Pride parade long enough for Turkish women to spot him and snitch him out to his mom. This story is familiar enough to all immigrants. Parents are always happy about their children until they find out that their child is gay. Homosexuality is a sin being enough to trump anything else that can make one an asset.
Beyto’s parents’ plan, then, is to keep bring proud of him by pushing him into a marriage. To marry the gay out of him. This is when Beyto becomes an anthropological study of Turkish people under Swiss eyes. It’s understandable that director and writer Gita Gsell has the best intentions of adapting Yusuf Yelisoz’ novel into a film. But the film still comes across as unauthentic when it comes to depicting Turkish traditions. The glossy approach to things like the wedding scenes reinforce this. It doesn’t help that the film has a score that sounds much like a travelogue.
Beyto‘s story beats also feels like procrastination. The protagonist agrees reluctantly to the sham marriage. And as it turns out, she wants to be a doctor, a profession she can never study for as a girl in a Turkish village, where economy can hinder her dreams as much as tradition does. Both are using each other in some way. it’s understandable that both he and the bride have apprehensions to this quid pro quo like his parents and boyfriend do. But the film feels like we’re waiting for twenty minutes for everyone to agree to this mutually beneficial arrangement.