Faraway (2023): A second bite of the cherry must come at the right time for it to be treated with the essential spontaneity. If you’ve gone far too long making do with the crumbs thrown at you and your soul has been starved with just enough to keep it going, you know you’ve often dismissed your needs just to convince yourself that it’s not all bad.
It is only when a consequential episode hits your life with the kind of ardently self-reflective force that shatters the glass that you were hoping was half full that it gets practically imperative for you to reevaluate all that makes up your life. And that is where luck, as a clincher of the shape that the rest of your life will take, factors in.
Zeynep’s second chance to change the course of her life from a fated, depressing passage to one that is lovingly nourished with a ray of hope comes at an age when most people are inclined to postpone their soul-searching. Netflix’s International Women’s Day rom-com effortlessly partakes in the conversation of women taking charge of their own life without having to move mountains to get a seat at the table.
Faraway celebrates an achievable change that proves to be extremely necessary for the woman in question rather than seeking the approval of those who benefit from stifling any speck of progress and assigning exaggerated hurdles for women to overcome.
Faraway (2023) Plot Summary and Movie Synopsis:
Zeynep’s troubles aren’t the devastating kind. But every bit of life she may have had seeded within herself has long been rusting away. Unlike many a woman who has drained herself to be everything that favors the lives of everyone around her other than herself, Zeynep can’t remember the last time she prioritized her happiness over anyone else’s.
With a father whose bellyaching can’t only be a side effect of his senility, her daughter Fia who’s just at that age where hissing seems to be the only fitting response to everything, and her grumpy husband Ilyas, who has been laughing a bit too hard with his newly hired, young sous chef, Zeynep doesn’t even have the privilege to dream up a better life, let alone a happy one. Her mother’s death is pulling her down further into a pit of misery.
Chasing down her family full of grown toddlers to get them to act, talk, and dress the way that keeps with the tone of mourning, Zeynep hardly has the time to grieve her loss. Adding fuel to her dazed state, her old, wheelchair-bound neighbor hands her a deed for a Croatian property her mother had purchased and a diary written in Croatian that Zeynep can’t seem to decipher.
It isn’t unlikely that her mother had a relationship with the lawyer neighbor with whom she trusted her documents. Contemplating if he ever really knew his wife doesn’t seem to be a comforting trail for the new widower to hinge himself on. Zeynep has concocted a rather emotional eulogy for the funeral. Yet, undeniably aware of the tripwires of her emotional state, she wants Ilyas to recite it on her behalf.
When her husband doesn’t show up, she is made to feel alien amongst mourners who she doesn’t feel comfortable breaking down around. Determined to have it out with Ilyas for leaving her alone when she needed him the most, Zeynep shows up at his restaurant only to have her heart broken by the wretched sight of her husband having a jolly time with the newly hired girl. The resentful Zeynep boards the van to drive to the ferry that will haul her off to the Croatian island, but she doesn’t have a plan. All that mind is preoccupied with is the need to get away from everything that deprives her of joy or comfort.
What Does Zeynep Find In Croatia?
The taxing bus ride and then a long walk in the dark are nowhere near as exhausting as her life was in her own house. Zeynep crashes into the bed at night only to awaken in the morning to the shocking sight of a naked man in her bed. Josip has been living in her mom’s property rent-free ever since she bought the house from his family. Clinging to an unswerving love for the little cottage he was born in, Josip fights off any refurbishment
Zeynep thinks about the place she has come to own. He is steadfast in his determination to prevent Zeynep from turning the place into a gaudy Airbnb. Of course, his general dislike for the local realtor Conrad plays a part in his shady decision to keep mum about the news of a grand offer Zeynep has received for the house. Try as she might not to bear her heart to Croatia, the serene island had its own plan.
The more she is pulled in with the promises of all the love and the emotional autonomy a life on the mirth island has to offer, the looser her strings get to all that wait for her back home. The closer she gets to being drawn to Josip, the man with a kind of heart that, without fail, stands as a stark antithesis of all that Ilyas is, the stronger she wishes to hold on to her identity as a wife and a mother. When a blessing appears in the facade of a curse, Zeynep begins to get a hold of herself and unremittingly seeks out the life she truly deserves.
Ilyas has been unfaithful to Zeynep, tainting all of her sacrifices for her family and the unending love and compassion she has shown him. Having shattered the bars of her restrictive morals, Zeynep makes it a point to live her life on her own terms and allow her happiness to be just as important as that of everyone she loves.
Josip comes to her as the fountain of life, rejuvenating the desperately parched state Zeynep has found herself. Getting closer to Josip and rejecting the idea of ever leaving the place that has brightened her life more than anything else happens at the same time for Zeynep.
Faraway (2023) Ending, Explained:
Why Does Zeynep Decide To Stay In Croatia?
One could wonder if Zeynep’s life in ‘Faraway’ would’ve turned over a new page much earlier had she found out about her mother’s Croatian house and read her diary before she had passed. While that possibility isn’t entirely unlikely, chances are, Zeynep not being in the right headspace would have barred it from working as a sign that she needed to break the destructive patterns of her life.
It wasn’t until the life she thought was tolerable enough to settle for hit an immovable roadblock that Zeynep was persuaded to reconsider everything. Fia has grown up seeing her mother fit into the molds each relationship has assigned to her. Only when she sees Zeynep refuse to shrink herself down to be in keeping with the exploitative expectations of the ones close to her does Fia feel comfortable enough to come out about her sexuality.
As it would be with any man who has ever felt a rush out of having a woman in his possession, Ilyas’ ego endured a hard blow when he found out that Zeynep had found someone and had dared to be happy without him. Immolating the fragile connection made essentially out of the plights of his midlife crisis, Ilyas rushes in like a knight in shining armor to claim back his love which has moved on to illuminate someone else’s life.
Zeynep’s long-overdue enlightenment has replaced the pushover in her with someone who stands up and insists on being treated with respect. An old Zeynep might have let herself be swayed by Ilyas’ far too-late grand gesture and considered turning her back on the life she has built for herself. But if there’s anything her mother’s words have communicated, it is that life isn’t a one size fits all phenomenon.
Croatia, for her mother, was bereft of comfort and stability. It was a place that Zeynep’s grandfather sacrificed his life to protect. What her mother found in her new life that her husband fondly curated for her was everything that her homeland, which she loved dearly, couldn’t offer her. For Zeynep, the same Croatia evokes the freedom that a life of security and materialistic comfort could never have given her.
Now that she has tasted the sweet nectar of an existence that isn’t bound to the acts of service and the sacrifices that suck the last bit of life out of her, Zeynep can’t fall into the same patterns. She would rather hold on to it and allow her heart the time it needs to heal than be someone who rejects the rush of newfound happiness for the safety of the same old gloom.