Faraway (2023) Movie Review – A charming but uneven multilingual rom-com

A charming but uneven multilingual rom-com

Faraway, a Netflix original multilingual rom-com directed by Vanessa Jopp, takes its grief-worn protagonist on an unexpected journey of self-love and romance.

Zeynep (Naomi Krauss) is tired, overworked at home, and underappreciated by her husband (Adnan Maral) and daughter (Bahar Balci). Receiving no support from her family after her mother’s death, Zeynep decides she needs some time to herself. She runs away to a Croatian island, the birthplace of her mother and the destination of a house she left Zeynep in her will.

There, Zeynep discovers the house is already occupied by its previous owner, Josip (Goran Bogdan). Sparks fly between them even while Zeynep and Josip butt heads over Zeynep’s desire to turn his childhood home into an Airbnb. Everything seems to be working against a romance between the two: their clashing ideals and Zeynep’s family back home. But Josip could be exactly whom Zeynep needs in her life.

The chemistry between Zeynep and Josip is instant, but Jopp and writer Jane Ainscough allow for a slow-burning romance to unfold between them. It’s a hate-to-love story of cutting banter and harsh scoldings (not to mention burning each other’s undergarments out of retribution). Most of Faraway, after some establishing scenes of Zeynep’s unhappiness at home, focuses on the steadily-building relationship between the two. And unsurprisingly, the rom-com shines its brightest when centering the romance and comedy that follows the couple.

It’s the reappearance of Zeynep’s family drama that scrambles the plot. Although some heartwarming moments slightly redeem the uneven storyline, the last few scenes of the film make it a little less Zeynep’s story. She’s able to reclaim it, at least, taking away from her journey that sometimes it’s okay to be a little selfish. And although the ending leaves us in a lurch, with more questions than answers about where Zeynep is going to end up–we at least know she’ll do what’s right for herself, and that’s satisfying in its own right.

Like the film’s many languages (English, German, Turkish, and Croatian are all spoken), there are a lot of compelling elements coming together in Faraway–they could simply use sharper direction and more focused writing to connect them more strongly to the central romance.

If you can excuse the uneven family drama, stream Faraway on Netflix for the beautiful Croatian landscape and the sparkling chemistry between Krauss and Bogdan.


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  • Verdict - 6/10
    6/10
6/10

6 thoughts on “Faraway (2023) Movie Review – A charming but uneven multilingual rom-com”

  1. I would like to have read the reviews before I watched it. My husband was watching when I woke up so I missed some of the beginning and read reviews to catch up. Anyway, not the best movie I’ve seen. Parts were okay. The captions were hard to read so I was not sure at times what was going on. Like toward the end whee there was a big fight going on and I still don’t know what the fighting was all about. There was no real resolution at the end except all went their own ways and accepted their lives as they were at the time and made do with the status quo of their lives.

  2. I loved this movie! The casting is everything in this international language treat. Bravo to the writer and actors who even made us think of our mums, and their sacrifices made without hesitation, for their children. Bravo!

  3. Liked it very much.A beautiful movie about a middle aged women who find a new world of love and happiness after leaving the isolation and lack of love.

  4. I tried to like this movie but found Josip to be abusive and creepy, and stalker-like. Plus, he’s been living rent free in some one else’s home. Then he moves into a tent next to the house. What? Creepy. Another creepy is him waking up naked next to this unknown lady. Just awful writing. I’m not sure why these writers had to subject Zey to a man just as awful as her husband, even worse because of the way Josip is constantly yelling at her.

    The scene on the boat where Zey say’s “I’m going to be sick” is where Josip tells her “here, eat this,” and it’s fish! Really!!! So dumb. But worse, no sooner does Zey confide to him about her husband being over worked and laughing with a woman with white teeth does Josip throw it back at her face in defense of himself for not telling Zey that her realtor had come by. And OMG, did Josip really throw her phone into the ocean??? Of course this manic did. What an ass!

    The stalker Josip shows up at the bar where Zey is having a drink with the realtor. This scene was so awful on so many levels. But the worst was the ageism remark of referring to Zey as “grandma”. How horrible that the main character of this movie had to resort to such a cheap and disgusting insult on a woman he barely knows. Again, how creepy that he’s there at the bar, stalking. Why can’t he leave her alone? He’s always around.

    Terrible writing. To bad.

  5. i enjoyed watching the movie, which at the start seems to be boring, but gradually it unfolds into a beautiful romance. i love watching the 2 especially goran, he is so natural and gorgeous. until now i kept re-watching it.

  6. My sentiments exactly. It’s a really good film. Being a 49 year old mum in need of an adventure, I am inspired.

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