Review: The Gift (Atiye)

Beren Saat in The Gift (Atiye)

The Gift (the original title in Turkish is Atiye) is a mysterious journey into ancient secrets and modern efforts to unearth the unknown. This Turkish language TV series is on Netflix.

The Gift comes from Turkey. Atiye is the main character’s name. She is played by Beren Saat. I found the series uneven – sometimes extraordinarily good in terms of the mysteries involved, but sometimes certain plot points were wobbly. There were supernatural elements to the story that weren’t well-developed or explained. However, the human drama was always well done and I recommend the series for mystery lovers despite its flaws.

Beren Saat in The Gift (Atiye)
Atiye finds herself in inexplicable situations

Atiye was an artist. She’d been drawing the same symbol all her life and was finally having a public exhibition of her work. She lived in Istanbul.

Metin Akdülger in The Gift (Atiye)
Ozan does what daddy says – most of the time.

Aitye was newly engaged to Ozan (Metin Akdülger). While the excitement of the engagement and the art show were going on, an archeologist at an Anatolian archaeological site, Göbekli Tepe, found the symbol carved in stone deep in a cave. The discovery made the news.

Göbekli Tepe is a real dig, believed to be one of the oldest sites in the world.

Mehmet Günsür in The Gift (Atiye)
Erhan gets dragged into Atiye’s mysteries and learns he might be personally connected to them

Erhan (Mehmet Günsür) was the archeologist. Atiye immediately went to Göbekli Tepe to see the symbol for herself, but Erhan wouldn’t let her into the caves. She felt something pulling her to the area, and was not going to give up trying to figure out why she’d been creating this symbol all her life.

 Meral Çetinkaya in The Gift (Atiye)
Who is this strange woman who appears to Atiye?

A mysterious woman, later identified as Zühre (Meral Çetinkaya), begins appearing to Atiye. Is she real or a hallucination? When Atiye is near the dig site, a young girl who doesn’t speak Turkish helps her find her way there and guides her into caves. Is she real or a hallucination?

Atiya hears things that aren’t there. She sees things that aren’t there. She tries to explain what’s happening to her, but no one thinks she’s telling the truth.

Melisa Senolsun in The Gift (Atiye)
Cansu was adopted, which becomes important as the story moves along.

Even Atiye’s sister Cansu (Melisa Senolsun) doesn’t believe the stories her big sister is telling.

Atiye begins hanging out with Erhan as the two of them try to figure out what it all means.

Beren Saat and Basak Köklükaya in the Gift (Atiye)
Mom put Atiye in a psych ward rather than tell her the truth.

Atiye’s parents, Serap (Basak Köklükaya) and Mustafa (Civan Canova), want her to get psychiatric help and take meds. The doctor tells her she’s mentally ill with a disease that runs in the family. Atiye realizes how much her family has lied to her about everything and who the mysterious disappearing woman is.

Ozan’s father Serdar (Tim Seyfi) is another important person in the story. He insistes Ozan will marry Atiye even when she loses interest in the marriage idea. He has some connection to the mystery.

As The Gift (Atiye) proceeds, it becomes clear that everyone investigating the mystery of the symbols and places in the caves is in danger. The people are interconnected in ways that are not obvious at first. Spiritual elements are woven into the story as well as supernatural powers. The latter two themes weren’t well developed enough to make a lot of sense to me. In addition, there was something about Serdar that related, but it didn’t get explained before the final episode.

The final episode ended with a cliffhanger. If another season is in the works, hopefully unexplained elements will become more believable and coherent.

The Gift (Atiye) was based on a novel by Sengül Boybas. The were 8 episodes in the season.

poster for The Gift (Atiye)

Here is the trailer. The series is on Netflix.

4 thoughts on “Review: The Gift (Atiye)”

  1. I agree, it’s definitely worth watching. One aspect that I didn’t fully appreciate until the end of the second episode, and that deserves mentioning, is the design of the series; pay attention to the clothes; everyone is dressed with an elegant restraint in colours and fabrics. Similarly the cinematography is beautiful; the lighting is interesting and varied, the panoramic landscapes and the close-ups are beautiful. The score is sophisticated, the music is subtle and never overbearing. When I noticed these production values, I wasn’t so focussed on the script, it’s a series that takes its time, and if you pay attention to the visuals and sounds, as much as the storyline, it ends up being an incredibly enjoyable series.

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