Film Review: FAR FROM MEN (written and directed by David Oelhoffen / US premiere at Tribeca Film Festival)

Post image for Film Review: FAR FROM MEN (written and directed by David Oelhoffen / US premiere at Tribeca Film Festival)

by Dmitry Zvonkov on April 23, 2015

in Film

MORTENSEN SHINES IN FAR FROM MEN

The more I watch Viggo Mortensen act the more I enjoy his performances; there is something inherently compelling about the dichotomy between his ruggedly handsome leading-man shell and the awkwardness and vulnerability one senses on second glance coming from within. I empathize with his characters as I would with an overgrown child who, because of his adult looks, is judged as a man and tasked with manly duties, but who on the inside is still just a boy.

Viggo Mortensen stars as Daru in Tribeca Film's Far from Men, (2015)

Mortensen brings his reluctance and hesitation to excellent use in David Oelhoffen’s poignant Far From Men (Loin des hommes), playing Daru (in an all-French-language performance), a French teacher in a one-room desert schoolhouse in 1954 Algeria, who finds himself tasked with taking Mohamed (a sympathetic, understated Reda Kateb), an Arab villager who murdered his cousin, to be tried in a French city. Daru wants nothing to do with this task and would as soon let his prisoner go as deliver him to be, in all likelihood, put to death. But Mohamed, as it turns out, has his own reasons for wanting to be executed by the French.

Tribeca Film's Far from Men (2015)

Loosely based on Camus’ short story “The Guest,” Far From Men is, on the surface, a tight, minimalist road-movie—an adventure story in which the two desert pedestrians encounter vengeful tribesmen, Algerian rebels, French Army troops, and visit a bordello. But beneath the surface, the film, with its harsh and beautiful desert vistas, and its meditative yet compelling pace, explores the unsolvable existential problems of Camus’ story: Why do we, ostensibly free-thinking, independent individuals, when we find ourselves part of a social order which we did not create and whose laws we do not support, nevertheless remain willing prisoners of it?

Reda Kateb stars as Mohamed and Viggo Mortensen stars as Daru in Tribeca Film's Far from Men (2015)

photos © Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

Viggo Mortensen stars as Daru in Tribeca Film's Far from Men (2015)

Far From Men
Tribeca Film and Pathé International
France – 2015 – Color – 102 min.
US premiere at Tribeca Film Festival
for screening times, visit https://tribecafilm.com/filmguide/far-from-men-2015

Comments on this entry are closed.