Unappreciated woman starts a new life; language, sex.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Faraway depicts an underappreciated wife and mother who blossoms when she leaves her German family to see the Croatian seaside cottage her mother left her. The subject is mature but older teens may relate to the mother-daughter relationship lovingly portrayed here and the matter-of-fact view of sex and human needs. Extramarital affairs, a man's behind, and a woman's breasts are shown. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," ass," "pr--k," "hell," "damn," "bastard," "bitch," "crap," and "penis." Played for comedy, men physically fight over a woman. Adults drink alcohol to drunkenness. A drunk woman falls off her bicycle. In German, Turkish, and Croatian with English subtitles.
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What's the Story?
In FARAWAY, Zeynep (Naomi Krauss) presides over Ilyas (Adnan Maral), an unruly chef husband having an affair with a younger sous chef, and Fia (Bahar Balci), their angry and disrespectful teen daughter at their home in Germany. Ilyas is so taken with his coworker he forgets to show up for the funeral of Zeynep's beloved mother. Furious and disappointed, Zeynep flees to the seaside cottage her deceased mother secretly bought and left her in Croatia. There Zeynep slowly becomes herself -- competent, independent, confident, relaxed, sexy -- while her husband and daughter miss and appreciate her back home. Josip (Goran Bogdan), a lively and snarky island native, lives in the mother's cottage and criticizes Zeynep's plan to evict him and rent the cottage to tourists. Their antagonism turns to admiration and more.
Is It Any Good?
Faraway is far from perfect, but the ways in which it hits the mark are funny, true, and satisfying. Naomi Krauss is a glowing screen presence, demonstrating that women over 40 are not only powerful protagonists but also attractive and entrancing romantic heroines. Quibbles are few -- Zeynep seems to be a completely different person in the film's first half, an unlikeable, humorless, rigid critic. Her transformation to charming, funny, relaxed, and open is inevitable for the story to work, but abrupt and a bit questionable.
Nevertheless, once she makes the leap, it's clear why her daughter and husband fall in love with her all over again, and why the men on the island love her. Well-written dialogue includes frank and sometimes hilarious banter between two people who are both at odds and attracted to each other.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the importance of feeling valued by loved ones. Why do you think Zeynep just picked up and left her family? Do you think she had good reason? Why or why not?
Do you think Zeynep's family appreciated her more when she left them? Why or why not? Why do you think people sometimes take their nearest and dearest for granted?
Do you think breaking out of destructive patterns can help people improve their lives sometimes? Do you think Zeynep changed, for better or worse, when she embarked on an adventure?
- On DVD or streaming: March 8, 2023
- Cast: Naomi Krauss, Goran Bogdan
- Director: Vanessa Jopp
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Romance
- Run time: 109 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: March 13, 2023
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