A Faraway Land (2020) Review: Love at First Sight and Stuff

A Faraway Land is a 2020 drama film starring directed by Veronica B. Velasco and starring Paolo Contis and Yen Santos in pivotal roles.

The Netflix description reads:

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

– A Faraway Land review does not contain spoilers –

A Faraway Land starts with gorgeous views of the Faroe Islands. And when I say gorgeous, it’s breathtakingly beautiful. The mountains, the water, the expanse of the fields – beautiful. We also get an overview of Mahjoy’s life and the lives of various Filipinos in Faroe. There are hints everywhere that she and most like her aren’t in happy marriages.

That is probably why Mahjoy and her friends shit on other people when they are affectionate with their husbands or show affection in any way. Enter Nico, the easy-going documentary reporter. He’s the complete opposite of everything she has seen in her life. He’s fun, understanding and they seem to vibe well. Well, they only just met, but you know.

The heart of A Faraway Land, or hearts, I should say, are Mahjoy and Faroe Islands. Mahjoy is a joy to watch and it’s shocking how hardworking she is. Her life isn’t easy, but she does all she can to sustain and she does it with a smile on her face. Her character is absolutely a ray of sunshine and her smile is to die for. I want to give Yen Santos credit for creating a character that seems so warm and loveable.

Anyway, as A Faraway Land continues, we get a sad look into Mahjoy’s life. It seems like she’s not in love with her husband, Sigmund, and the age difference seems to be a lot. The movie shows the life of overseas Filipino workers in a compassionate and sweet light, their joys, sorrows, dreams, hardships and aspirations. It touches your heart.

A Faraway Land
A Faraway Land (2020) Review: Love at First Sight and Stuff 8

A Faraway Land also addresses the COVID situation in the world. The movie takes place in the midst of the pandemic and that makes me wonder how Nico was allowed to enter the island. There’s also a plot point of a corona test and stuff that was a bit much. And, Nico faints a little too much. There are also some plot points that are just so damn unnecessary and only pad the runtime.

I have one big, huge problem with A Faraway Land and that is the dubbing. There are large chunks of the movie where you won’t be able to hear anything. It feels some of their dialogues were dubbed and some, they just winged it from the shooting location. It’s so surreal to watch.

Also Read: Netflix’s Black Island Review: NSFW and Nothing Unseen

One more point, cheating on your spouse is not romantic. Regardless of what your marriage is, good or bad, leave your spouse and then pursue another relationship. Nico’s claim that Mahjoy is definitely in love with him reeks entitlement.

I think A Faraway Land got a little confused with what it wanted to do with its film in the second half of the film. It starts out cute and fun but then turns into something very odd. It’s awkward to watch and doubled with the horrible dubbing, it loses its charm soon. Add to that, Nico’s entitled behaviour with a married Mahjoy, it’s just uncomfortable.

Also Read: Netflix’s AlRawabi School for Girls Review: Mean Girls

Summing up: A Faraway Land

A Faraway Land
A Faraway Land (2020) Review: Love at First Sight and Stuff 9

A Faraway Land is a slow drama film. The dubbing issues are rampant and there are moments that are unnecessary and don’t add anything to the runtime. It’s sad when a sweet character becomes creepy in the end. If you’re planning on giving this a shot, watch it for Yen Santos, she’s great.

That being said, when a guy tells you that they are in love with you after a week of knowing each other, run for the hills.

A Faraway Land is streaming on Netflix.

Also Read: Aftermath (2021) Review: Decent Thriller Keeps It Going

Follow us on Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

A Faraway Land starts off sweet but then takes a detour through crazy street in the second half.

25 COMMENTS

  1. I would have to disagree with you. Maybe you never felt being in-love after seeing someone new. I didn’t feel any creepiness, just real love from both of them. The story is very honest and true-to-life. I agree that some shots took longer done needed but it is what it is. I love Paolo’s recent movies. They are a combination of laughter and sadness.

  2. I would have to disagree with you. Maybe you never felt being in-love after seeing someone new. I didn’t feel any creepiness, just real love from both of them. The story is very honest and true-to-life. I agree that some shots took longer than needed but it is what it is. I love Paolo’s recent movies. They are a combination of laughter and sadness.

    • I felt like Nico was too pushy with Mahjoy. I am all for love and all that, but within a week is a bit much. However, I am glad you had a positive experience with the movie. Thank you for sharing your point of view! 🙂

  3. Evidently, I must’ve been watching a different movie from the rest of you. I didn’t see any deep romance between the two main characters. “True love” after spending a few days in each other’s presence? Seriously? What I watched looked more like a hookup between a married woman (who had a child), and young guy that she had no business flirting with, because they were physically attracted to each other.

    This movie didn’t cast Filipinos in a very positive light. What’s the message here? The woman married a man she didn’t love so that she could to have a better life (gold digging, anyone?), then drops her clothes while her husband is working away from home, and proceeds to lie to him when he returns. In what way was any of this behavior moral or excusable?

    Just for fun, let’s flip the script, and say that the older husband had ‘the hots’ for another Filipina that visited the island, and after a few days of driving around together, they had sex and discussed running away together and leaving the other woman and her child. Would you think it was a romantic tear jerker of a movie, or would you think it was

    • I think that’s what I hated the most and mentioned in my review as well. The fact they are complicit in an affair where Mahjoy has to cheat on her husband is scum behaviour. I understand that she had to do what she could to get by and married Sigmund. However, Sigmund seemed like a nice enough guy (although we don’t get to see a lot of him), why would anyone do this to their a good person? Regardless of whether she stays or not, she did still participate in cheating on her husband, and that takes away from any sympathy that she got previously from me.
      Also, falling in love in a week is crazy, asking her to leave her husband and child after a week of flirting is nothing short of stupidity haha.

  4. have a better life (gold digging, anyone?), then drops her clothes while her husband is working away from home, and proceeds to lie to him when he returns. In what way was any of this behavior moral or excusable?

    Just for fun, let’s flip the script, and say that the older husband had ‘the hots’ for another Filipina that visited the island, and after a few days of driving around together, they had sex and discussed running away together and leaving the other woman and her child. Would you think it was a romantic tear jerker of a movie, or would you think it was?

  5. Thanks for the review & comments. Now I do not know If we would watch this or not. Had to chance to visit the Faroes (work for a cruise line), and in fact, a beautiful island (under Danish flag &rule),and maybe only for this nostalgic reason will I watch this with wifey (happened to stumble on a KMJS Faroes story and told her I was there).
    Let’s see how Paolo did on this one, but it sounds like it fails in comparison with his “Through Night & Day” with Alex (whose My Amanda, for me is a fail, plot wise). I just hope we Filipino’s can be more creative with our stories, otherwise we have no other choice but continue to watch K-Drama.

    • honestly, K-drama is much better. However, I am so jealous that you got to visit the islands. If the movie is a testament to its beauty, it must’ve been awesome to visit. 🙂

  6. The plot of the movie typically involves a forbidden love story, it’s unacceptable to cheat on someone specially when you’re married but on the other hand it’s the reality of life. We met someone unexpectedly and eventually fall in love. But there are things that we can’t give up just because we’re in love. On Mhajoy’s case yes she made a mistake and easily tempted. While Nico yes he is single but he doesn’t want to talked about his personal life so there is something as well with his status. Love at first sight for Nico but not with Mhajoy, she can’t leave her family just because she also felt something with Nico. What I admire is she practically thinks her family specially Lena. Even though Sigmund knew about her and Nico, he still accepts and love Mhajoy. Love, forgiveness and acceptance are the factors to make a relationship stronger despite the odds.

  7. I agree that this movie sucks, I did not bother to finish watching it. It’s just the same old plot about infidelity, the only difference is that the movie was shot in Faroe Island. I cannot comprehend how Mahjoy and Nico are in love with each other because this was not clearly demonstrated by them in the film. Mahjoy and Nico did not resonate the love that the film wants to depict. The film is emotionally shallow and lacked a good character development. I hoped there was more to it than infidelity, like that of Through Night and Day, not same plot, I know, but there was a twist at the end where it showed why Alessandra’s been acting weird during their trip. But no, this film’s screenplay is just flat, boring and ridiculous.

    • totally agree. I just found it annoying that they thought that this is ideal love, or even that people fall in love within a week. You can like someone or lust after them in a week, or even form very strong bonds with them. However, if we go by the true meaning of falling in love, that does not happen in a week. Also, the fact that Mahjoy cheated on her husband without any consequence is just wrong. Sigmund just resigned himself to the fact that, oh I can’t do better than this so let’s just hug and never talk about how my wife slept with another man and might just be in love with him. Not ok. Not to mention, it doesn’t seem like Mahjoy is ashamed of doing this! She’s just sad that she cannot hang out with Nico because of circumstances. No behaviour to indicate that she is ashamed of cheating on her spouse.

  8. actually i thought it was a good movie even though it started slow, my only issue is not ALL foreigners are Cold & uncaring just as Not ALL Filipinas are Gold-diggers. but i could empathize with persons in that situation of living which Yen Santos played a very good part. Alot of people are Hooked on the infidelity scene, but how many people Hook-up just for the Heck of it? people do alot of things out of loneliness so aside from the Hypocrisy it was an emotionally well done movie for the Budget given.i have personally seen how difficult it is for OFW’S, but she wasn’t an ofw, she was the spouse of a foreigner. I’ve lived in the Philippines and there’s plenty of Filipinos that are in Rotten Marriages too, it’s not just in Foreign Lands. But still i thought it was a good and emotional movie.

    • hooking up for the heck of it is fine. But it’s still cheating, regardless of why you do it. The only redeeming quality is Yen Santos.

  9. Watched the film and yes, the plot was indeed predictable. That said, at least Paolo is that kind of an actor who gives a a realistic attack on his emotions, evidently so in the lighter moments. I don’t think there was more asked of Yen from her character, and she did what was asked of her, acting wise. I was hoping to see more of Torshavn where we were docked to point out to wifey, but alas there was none. It is a beatiful place with its barren land, and I think they have more sheeps & cattle than the population. Was hoping to see the big chair by the library where we all go to when ashore.
    Nice movie. Grade C
    .

  10. I have mix feelings as well for the movie, but do you love me scene when Nicos sick.She did get logical with him about her knowing him for 6 days and it not probably working out.I don’t condone infidelity at all.I think break up and then proceed.Nico went missing during an journalist assignment;did he die?? I give it a C as well.The dub/ moments had me thinking I had lost my hearing honey.lol

    • The dub was just so bad. I couldn’t believe this got approved for a worldwide audience on Netflix.
      And yes, I agree. That was a moment when I thought that there would be some redeeming qualities. Developing feelings for people happens. But acting on them is horrible.

  11. It’s so disappointing, every scene in the movie is painful to watch, it’s like a 9th-grader film, the story flow doesn’t make any sense and so awkward, script is awful, how the bond between the charactersr grew is unrealistic as well as how the situation favor the characters desire which made me cringe all throughout the movie. It’s just another infidelity movie that has a cringey plot, has actors that are not seen that much in drama movies and is shoot in a foreign country .

    • I think I was enjoying the starting of the film. However, the closer it got towards the end, the more it became really odd. In the end, I was just confused wondering what is actually going on! Also, love in a week doesn’t cut it for me… neither does cheating.

  12. The story line of this movie is totally horrible. You should not produced some kind of movie like this. Its a pity that the scene is very beautiful. Every dialogue is really a lie.

Leave a Reply

Popular

Netflix’s Hometown Cha Cha Cha Episode 16 Recap: Finale

Hometown Cha Cha Cha episode 16 is as happy as it is emotional and makes for a difficult goodbye!

Demon Slayer Mugen Train Anime Episode 2 Review: Deep Sleep

If you have already seen the movie, you will not miss anything if you skip Demon Slayer Mugen Train Anime Episode 2. The episode included virtually no new material and didn't offer anything of value as an add-on to the show.

Netflix’s Hometown Cha Cha Cha Episode 15 Recap: Closure

Hometown Cha Cha Cha episode 15 is a cathartic experience and pushes our protagonists closer towards each other.

Meeting Point (2021) Review: Does Not Meet Expectations

Meeting Point tries to draw our attention to loneliness and solitude but does a very half-hearted job at it.

Netflix’s Oats Studios Review: Uncomfortable Halloween Treat

Oats Studios Review: Neill Blomkamp's short films of post-apocalyptic era are disturbing yet intriguing.

Next Story

%d bloggers like this: