Faraway Parent Guide
A beautiful setting isn't enough to compensate for a problematic story.
Parent Movie Review
When her mother dies, Zeynep (Naomi Krauss) reaches the end of her rope. Her husband, Ilyas (Adnan Maral) takes her for granted and is so busy flirting with one of his employees that he misses the funeral. Her daughter, Fia (Bahar Balci) is self-absorbed and petulant, constantly sniping and complaining. Her crotchety father (Vedat Erincin) expects to be waited on hand and foot: since his wife’s death, it’s now his daughter’s job. Grief is just one more burden added to on an already overwhelming load.
When Zeynep learns that her mother secretly bought a house on the Croatian island of her birth, the grieving woman impulsively drives across Europe to see the home for herself. Upon arriving at the charming, ramshackle house, Zeynep is shocked to encounter an unpaying tenant. Josip (Goran Bogdan) was born in the house and retains a deep attachment to it - deep enough that Zeynep’s mother allowed him to live there rent free until her family would need it. Zeynep initially sees Josip as a nuisance as she tries to retrofit the house as an Airbnb rental. But the longer she’s on the island, the more it sinks into her heart…
Every woman will understand the desire to escape from the chaos of kids and schedules and bottomless unmet needs. It is no surprise that Zeynep thrives in the beauty and simplicity of her new life. She reads her mother’s diaries, argues vociferously with Josip, luxuriates in the wonders of nature, and rethinks her life. There are no surprises in the film’s ultimate conclusion but the trip comes with some genuine emotion – and some flaws.
There are two things going for this German-made film. The first is the Croatian setting. Sundrenched beaches, rustic homes, and craggy hills all provide a cinematic escape for audiences. Second is Naomi Krauss’s performance as Zeynep. She’s the only standout in the cast, and boy oh boy, does she ever light up the screen. Over the course of the film, she transforms from tense and grey to radiant, relaxed, and visibly joyful. It’s an impressive bit of work.
Unfortunately, aside from the setting and the star, the rest of the film is a dud. The other actors are mediocre - and the voice actors in the English language dub are awful. Do yourself a favor and stick to the original multilingual soundtrack with subtitles. (Much of it is in English anyway since the German, Croatian, and Turkish characters tend to communicate in English.) I also have a specific complaint with the movie’s wardrobe: although dresses are attractive, no one in their right mind is going to go hiking wearing one. (Seriously – a flouncy blue dress to hike uphill?)
In terms of negative content, the film goes too far in a scene of “morning after” nudity where a woman’s breasts are fully visible and a few scenes of male buttock nudity. Alcohol is frequently consumed in social situations, leading to drunkenness, and there is some swearing, including a dozen sexual expletives. While there may be some heartwarming moments in the movie, there are far too many weak spots to make it a runaway hit.Directed by Vanessa Jopp. Starring Naomi Krauss, Goran Bogdan, Adnan Maral. Running time: 109 minutes. Theatrical release March 8, 2023. Updated March 9, 2023
Rating & Content Info
Why is Faraway rated TV-MA? Faraway is rated TV-MA by the MPAA for language, nudity.
Violence: A man jokingly mimes strangling his father in law. A man sets fire to a woman’s shapewear. A woman sets fire to a man’s underwear. A character throws someone else’s phone into the sea. There are a couple of fistfights. A man briefly tries to choke another one.
Sexual Content: A naked man is seen from side and behind on a couple of occasions. A man helps a drunk woman by removing her shapewear: there’s some sexual innuendo. There’s mention of an adulterous affair with no details. A couple have a brief and undetailed discussion of prior sexual experience. A married woman passionately kisses a man: they go to bed together and sex is implied. A naked woman is seen from the back while having a shower. A man is often seen without a shirt. A naked couple eat breakfast together: her breasts are visible as are his buttocks. A character says that they are bisexual.
Profanity: There are a dozen sexual expletives in the movie and a half dozen other profanities, including terms of deity, scatological curses, minor swear words, and crude anatomical expressions.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A main character drinks alcohol with a meal and gets very drunk. There are several scenes of adults drinking in a social context.
Page last updated March 9, 2023
Faraway Parents' Guide
If you want to see the beauties of Croatia for yourself, you can learn more below.
Croatian National Tourism Board: Spring in Croatia
Lonely Planet: Croatia
Visit Croatia: History of Croatia
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