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
2 thoughts on “Faraway (2023) Movie Review – A charming but uneven multilingual rom-com”
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.
My sentiments exactly. It’s a really good film. Being a 49 year old mum in need of an adventure, I am inspired.