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REVIEW: The predictable plot in Netflix’s ‘A Far Away Land’ leaves a lot to desire for in storytelling

She had the breathtaking volcanic island nation of Iceland as the backdrop of her critically-acclaimed Paolo Contis and Alessandra de Rossi-starrer, but indulges Filipino moviegoers with the captivating scenic beauty of the Danish territory in the Arctic, Faroe Islands.

Veronica Velasco tries to make her magic work once more in this anecdote of love in a foreign land. Here, she made a few blunders, albeit coming up with a largely tolerable result.

NETFLIX

Actors: Paolo Contis, Yen Santos, Hans Tórgarð, Ruby Ruiz,Zweden Obias, Maria Rianne Castro, Arianne Mavis Uera, Maricor Canlas

Genre: Romance, Drama

Premise: In the Faroe Islands, a married woman meets a reporter filming a documentary on overseas Filipino workers, which soon sparks a complicated love story. (Netflix)

Director: Veronica B. Velasco

Running Time: 101 minutes

Why You Should See It:

Picturesque landscapes are again witnesses to an intriguing love affair in this film by Veronica Velasco, who first mesmerized Filipino audiences in her 2020 hit, Through Night and Day

She had the breathtaking volcanic island nation of Iceland as the backdrop of her critically-acclaimed Paolo Contis and Alessandra de Rossi-starrer, but indulges Filipino moviegoers with the captivating scenic beauty of the Danish territory in the Arctic, Faroe Islands.

In the magazine show Kapuso Mo Jessica, Soho last year in one of its episodes–Filipino audiences may have provided a vague memory of this Arctic archipelago. The feature showcased the lives of Filipino women, who mostly got there through civil unions with the islands’ largely wifeless men. 

The film fixes its lens on this reality and tries to discover priceless OFW stories for Filipino. Does it succeed in doing that? Well, it’s difficult to answer with finality, really.

In the story, Nico Mendoza (Contis) is a Filipino journalist working on a documentary about Filipino wives in Faroe Islands. 

How he got there with ease is a baffling wonder, given that the film also takes the currently persisting pandemic, as a backdrop. He takes particular interest in one of his interviewees, Mahjoy (Santos), who’s been unhappily married to her Faroese husband, Sigmund (Tórgarð). 

Such interest gets him engaged in an illicit affair with the Filipina, which would later lead to further complications in the film’s utterly predictable script.

Contis was a compelling revelation in Through Night and Day, but here, he struggles to make Nico as easy-to-root-for as Ben. That said, he keeps his brilliance in the plot’s crucial turns, in spite of the character’s similarly predictable structure.

Velasco tries to make up for her script’s lack of spice by utilizing her setting’s breathtaking allure, but even in doing so she still manages to leave a few blunders uncompensated with something worthwhile. This film could have been an enormous showcase of both the place and the characters in it, but the story itself they’re trying to explore is unaccommodating to that purpose.

The glimpse it is able to provide for audiences wondering how it looks like to live in a faraway land, especially with the sole purpose to function as a wife, seems enough to ignite interest.

5 – Excellent

4 – Very Good

3 – Good

2 – Tolerable

1 – Terrible



A Far Away Land now streams on Netflix. Watch the official movie trailer below:

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