The emotional crisis of the modern couple is a delicate and irresolvable subject, but it is precisely this inability to find a general saving solution that fascinates contemporary creators. Thus, ‘Far Away‘ is not a short film that provides answers or aims to judge the choices of partners in an attempt to save their relationship, preferring to focus on a disastrous scenario that synthesizes the sometimes-hypocritical incompatibility of contemporary human relationships where the boundary between love and sex is becoming more and more relative. Fascinated by the wicked psychological mechanisms that urge individuals to unconsciously program an inevitable self-destruction, director Nicolas Van Ruychevelt creates a sensible and somewhat disturbing experiment about the latent inferiority complexes of the current couple becoming a victim of nonconformist sexual practices that could revive the passion of the two partners. Indeed, the tension between the two characters recalls the emotional relationship between Lars von Trier’s protagonists in ‘Breaking the Waves’, but while the Danish director doesn’t exclude neither the pathological nor the metaphysical dimension of his couple chemistry, Nicolas Van Ruychevelt manages not to deviate from the authenticity of everyday life, excluding any intrusion of any spectacular element. However, this short film succeeds to be an attractive product, immaculately assembled, proving that the talent of the director can compete with many of the success dramas of the moment.
Incapable of having a normal sexual life due to seemingly inexplicable physical or emotional dysfunction, David and Léa decide that the only way to reactivate their passion is to allow another man, totally unknown, to penetrate into their intimate perimeter, for an erotic escapade that could solve the blockage between them. But by this risky strategy will the two be able to overcome all these traumas?
Lucid, almost cynical, but at the same time extremely sensitive through the director’s care for the imperceptible details that mark the stages of an irremediable emotional rupture, this short film excels not only through a well-dozed technical concretisation, with a suggestive chromatic and musical passages that synthesize the mute suffering of the two characters into a painful poem about the multiple valences of couple failure, but also through a verbal and nonverbal interaction excellently performed by the main actors who incarnate the recipe of an emotional disaster specific to the contemporary world. In fact, the great advantage of Nicolas Van Ruychevelt’s project lies not in the complexity of the action, which is quite predictable through its premises, but in the credible rendering of the galloping trauma pushing the actors to design two incompatible identities that involuntarily torture each other. The heavy silence and the almost infinite expectation of a response, or at least of a visceral reaction, become in ‘Far Away’ the substitutes of captive partners in a vacuous world, which gets numb because of its emotional emptiness, but extremely palpable for any spectator who is familiar or not with the misleading anatomy of the modern couple.
For the authenticity with which it portrays one of the great irremediable blockages of the modern couple, for the attention of the director capturing the small gestures that cannot compensate for the latent despair of the individuals dispossessed of passion, but also for its impeccable cinematographic accomplishment, ‘Far Away’ was awarded with the Film of the Month distinction in the September 2018 edition of TMFF.