“Without the dark, we’d never see the stars”Stephanie Meyer, “Twilight.”
On the surface, Delibal is a fairy-tale love story between two perfect people. Barış (played by Çağatay Ulusoy) is a cool, handsome and gifted architectural student and drummer/singer in a band. One day, he falls in love at first sight with Füsün (played by Leyla Lydia Tuğutlu), a beautiful, family-devoted and hard-working sociology student. She initially rebuffs his attentions, but eventually falls for his indomitable energy, positive attitude and adventurous spirit. And for his inexhaustible ability to love. Unfortunately, as it is often the case in life, things are not as perfect as they appear. Beneath his “joie de vivre”, Barış hides a dark secret. He is seriously affected by bipolar disorder, alternating between manic/energetic spells and periods of deep depression. Although he is fully aware of his condition, Barış rejects treatment. And Füsün learns about it only when it is unfortunately too late.
“Delibal” (2015) was written by Siyah Kalem and directed by Ali Bilgin, who had previously worked with Çağatay in “Medcezir.” It was produced by Manolya Sen and Kerem Çatay for Ay Yapım. It premiered with a Gala in Istanbul, followed by other high-profile events in Germany.
The film offered Çağatay Ulusoy the most challenging role of his career. At only 24 years of age, he was to interpret a gifted young man seriously affected by bipolar disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the latter ‘is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. […] These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, and energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very sad, “down,” or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes.)’ “Delibal” was one of the first movies to explore the issue of bipolar disorder in Turkey. Mental health experts and patients alike praised the film for the sensitivity with which it tackled this difficult subject.
To interpret the role of Barış, Çağatay had to loose a significant amount of weight. He also had to learn how to play drums. In the movie, he performed the title song in the movie’s soundtrack, “Mutlu Sonsuz,” which became a hit in Turkey and cemented Çağatay Ulusoy’s reputation as a gifted musician.