Leave Us a Review
  • G.O.R.A.
  • 127 minutes  -  Comedy
  • Original title: G.O.R.A.
  • Director:Ömer Faruk Sorak
  • Language: Turkish
  • Country: Turkey

Arif, a Turkish carpet salesman, unwittingly finds himself on a spaceship to the planet G.O.R.A., where he falls in love with the local princess and gets in trouble with her suitor, a brutal spaceship commander. Adventure, humor, pop culture references, and CGI abound.

Watch the trailer
REVIEW BY Caner Dzhenko Ceylan Movie EXPERT
Review posted: 23/08/2013

Arif (Cem Yılmaz) is a carpet salesman who works beside the Turkish seaside and mostly sells used carpets to tourists. One day, an alien from the planet G.O.R.A. disguised as Prince Charles abducts Arif and takes him to his spaceship. Arif is a typical Turkish shopkeeper, who jokes around and tells lots of stories. In the spaceship and the planet G.O.R.A., Arif becomes friends with other hostages and Turkish people, and he begins making plans to escape. He also falls in love with Princess Ceku (Özge Özberk), the daughter of G.O.R.A.’s king. She is very curious about life on Earth and likes to listen to terrestrial music and watch black-and-white movies. Spaceship commander Logar (also played by Cem Yılmaz) is a brutal character who wants to marry the princess and be the future king of G.O.R.A., but she doesn’t like him because he is too violent. She believes she can only fall for one of the earthlings, and she comes to love Arif after seeing how funny and brave he is. Thus do Arif, Ceku, Ceku’s 216-robot (Ozan Güven), and the Turkish cook Bob Marley Faruk (Rasim Öztekin) try to stop Commander Logar’s brutality.

"Cem Yılmaz, the writer and star, says: 'The movie is all about what happens if a Turk goes to space and is abducted by aliens.'"

In the beginning of the movie, we hear English in the spaceship. One of the crew members says “High one,” which sounds like “hayvan,” meaning “animal” in Turkish. After a few words of English subtitled in Turkish, Commander Logar says: “Let’s change the language to Turkish.” This is a reference to dubbed foreign movies shown on Turkish TV. In Turkey, it’s very common to start watching a foreign movie with Turkish subtitles and then have it change to dubbed Turkish. Carpet salesmen in Turkey use the proverb “Bunu işleyen kör oldu” (The person who did this carpet became blind after finishing it) almost for every carpet they try to sell, and we can hear it from Arif. In one scene, Arif tries to befriend his fellow hostages. He sees someone who looks Japanese, and after greeting him, the hostage says: “Ben Zeytinburnu çocuğuyum” (I’m the guy from Zeytinburnu). Zeytinburnu is a ghetto town in Istanbul, and when a person says he is from there, that means he is a thug.

Arif and Bob Marley escape prison with the help of Princess Ceku and her 216-robot. Somewhere in the planet G.O.R.A., Bob Marley Faruk finds sausage trees, with traditional Turkish sausages flavoured with garlic and red pepper. After he sees them, he says: “Çok kral” (The very king), an expression used when something looks amazing. Later, Arif and his friends try to find Garavel (Özkan Uğur), who sometimes visited Arif in prison through teleportation, and along the way, Commander Logar kidnaps Princess Ceku. Arif and his friends then find Garavel, who welcomes them into his house. They drink traditional Turkish alcohol, called rakı (a vodka lookalike), in tea glasses, which is one way of drinking if there are no proper glasses. After getting drunk, Garavel screams “İsyanim var” (I have a rebellion), and here the movie shows how Turkish emotions come out after drinking too much. Garavel gives his ship to Arif to escape from the planet. The ship is called Ka-fa 1500, and saying this name in Turkish sounds like: “I am so hung-over.”

"G.O.R.A. has been watched by more than 4 million people."

G.O.R.A. spoofs movies such as The Matrix and The Fifth Element. Garavel says to Arif: “You are the one.” So Arif dresses up with a long black coat and sunglasses, and he looks like Neo after Garavel’s help. In another scene, a meteor is moving towards the planet G.O.R.A. and the protagonists need to activate a weapon, though they don’t know how. At this moment, Arif realizes that they need to use five elements to do so. He says fire, water, earth, air, and, as the fifth element, wood. But wood doesn’t activate the weapon, and Arif says: “Wood is not an element. There is no fifth element. Don’t make up these things.” By this he doesn’t only refer to the movie The Fifth Element but also to Feng Shui, which says that there are five elements in the world.

Cem Yılmaz, the writer and star, says: “The movie is all about what happens if a Turk goes to space and is abducted by aliens.” When the media asked him what G.O.R.A. stood for, Cem Yılmaz replied: “I really don’t know, it’s just something we came up with. If you really want an answer, let’s say ‘Güzel Olursa Rağbet Alır' (If we make it beautiful, it will be watched).” G.O.R.A. has been watched by more than 4 million people.