Helmed by Vanessa Jop, Netflix’s ‘Faraway’ is a German romantic comedy movie about finding comfort in unexpected places. Zeynep is a middle-aged woman from Munich whose life is falling apart at the seams. Not only does she tire away taking care of her demanding husband, kids, and aged father, but they take her for granted and push her around. Unfortunately, even her mother passes away, and the funeral almost gets ruined, breaking Zeynep’s patience. To disconnect, she takes off to a Croatian island, where her mother has left her a charming house she purchased years ago.
However, Zeynep’s dreams of a peaceful retreat are disturbed when she learns that the property’s previous owner Josip still resides there. Forced to share a roof, the two unexpectedly bond and rediscover themselves. Featuring impactful performances by a talented cast comprising Goran Bogdan, Nomi Krauss, Bahar Balci, and Adnan Maral, the movie presents a practical take on mid-life crisis and self-discovery through travel. Besides, the relatable characters and their not-so-unimaginable situations make one wonder if ‘Faraway’ draws inspiration from reality. If you’re eager to know the same, let’s find out the answer!
Is Faraway a True Story?
No, ‘Faraway’ is not based on a true story. Writer Jane Ainscough penned the Netflix comedy-drama movie‘s screenplay, based on an original story idea by Alex Kendall. The latter has worked as a Story Editor and Script Consultant on numerous prestigious movies like ‘Against the Ice,’ ‘All Quiet on the Western Front,’ and ‘Munich: The Edge of War.’ Alex and Jane likely used their real-life observations to develop the movie’s concept and characters. The protagonist, Zeynep, grapples with mid-life woes and is overworked.
Mid-life crisis is prevalent among women, with many feeling unhappy in their relationships and losing confidence and productivity. Therefore, they look for new ways to reinvent themselves through hobbies and travel. This concept of a female character going on a path of self-discovery on holiday is not unheard of and has been previously explored in many movies. However, the most famous example has to be the 2010 Julia Roberts starrer ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ which follows a newly-divorced woman who travels across the world in search of herself.
The protagonist, Elizabeth, finds herself at a dead-end in life when she gets divorced. Consequently, she embarks on a global trip and heals from her trauma through food, prayer, and a second chance at love. Both Elizabeth and Zeynep in ‘Faraway’ find themselves at their lowest in life due to separation from and loss of a loved one, respectively. As a last attempt at saving themselves, they seek solace in wanderlust and discover love and reassurance from the most unlikely sources. Besides, Zeynep’s situation can also be compared to that of the protagonist in the 1989 British rom-com, ‘Shirley Valentine.’
Like Zeynep, Shirley is a neglected housewife who wishes for a getaway from her dull life and a family that ignores her needs. Thus, she readily jumps at the opportunity when her friend, Jane, invites her on an impromptu trip to an exotic Greek island. But when the latter abandons her during the holiday, she does some soul-searching and befriends a taverna owner named Costas. Just as Zeynep forms a meaningful bond with Josip and finds the joys of life again, Shirley begins looking at life from a new perspective in Tom’s company.
Apart from the travel trope, the Netflix movie highlights how families often ignore the dreams and aspirations of mothers and wives, who work tirelessly to ensure everything functions smoothly. Similar to how Zeynep is mistreated at home, not only are they expected to balance work with household duties, but their own opinions and choices are left unheard, resulting in them experiencing burnout. Hence, one can say that though ‘Faraway’ is a work of fiction, the writers have masterfully crafted a realistic story around characters that may remind one of their own situations or people around them.
Read More: Where Was Netflix’s Faraway Filmed?