A Faraway Land Review –
Here’s my A Faraway Land review which stars Paolo Contis and Yen Santos and directed by Veronica B. Velasco. It’s now streaming on Netflix.
The film follows the time in the Faroe Islands of Filipino documentarists Nico Mendoza (Paolo Contis) as he documents and interviews a successful Filipina who married a native of the Faroe Islands, Mahjoy Garðalið (Yen Santos). In the six days that they are together they grow close, share experiences and dreams and realize that there’s something more that the two of them could attain together.
Let me start that the film is beautiful in terms of visuals. Filmmakers took advantage of the scenery when they shot the picture. I’m pretty sure a lot of Filipinos would be enamored with the island’s views and the “A Faraway Land” makes sure that it goes to great lengths to show us that.
Paolo Contis and Yen Santos are an OK fit with the two of them having lines that can resonate to some degree. But its really Paolo Contis who really shown how good he is here; particularly their last scene together which has become a viral post and a possible meme as well. When he wants you to laugh, he can make you chuckle and when he wants you to feel his heartbreak, he certainly knows how.
Now for the sad part.
It’s sad that the film paints a rather negative picture of Filipinas and their grooms in a far away land. I know it was integral for the story but there could have been another way to present the cultural gap between Filipinas and their Faroese husbands without stymying the latter. But alas, that has been the case for the film which ultimately sets the eventual intimacy between Nico and Mahjoy.
I was really hoping there was a nice twist at the end of the picture too; but not necessarily Mahjoy leaving her family just to be with her new man. But they stuck with the “safe road”. I guess they wanted to make “everybody happy”. But then again, if you pay close attention to Mahjoy’s dialogue and backstory, you’ll know that she wouldn’t even dare of copying the things her mother did back when she was growing up.
Its also a subject that’s considered a tad controversial for people.
There’s also the predictability of how things were going to play out. It could have been given more thought on the small elements that would eventually draw Mahjoy and Nico together but it was lacking for me. So when Mahjoy states that they’ve only known each other for six days and yet Nico’s already saying he’s in-love with her, I was nodding in wholehearted agreement.
Lastly, there’s a subplot about the wives finding comfort and affection from other people that’s played up for laughs or for controversy. We’ve just about had it with these “kabit” content.
I dunno. Its hard to put a finger on whether these elements made the movie good or bad. But whether or not its enjoyable, I’d say yes. High marks also for showcasing the beauty of the Faroe Islands and very passionate acting from Paolo Contis. Just don’t go with that silly Instagram unfollowing gimmick.
A Faraway Land Review:
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