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Review: Far from family (2008)

Directed by: Marion Bloem | 150 minutes | drama | Actors: Terence Schreurs, Anneke Grönloh, Camilla Siegertsz, Katja Römer-Schuurman, Riem de Wolff, Nada van Nie, Gepke Witteveen, Joep van der Geest, M. Jaro Wolff, Ilse Bloem, Luc Prawoto, Jonathan de Weers, Mary-Lou Kerver-Berends, Janina Pakasi, Yola Geldtmeijer, Grace Bernardus, Leona Philippo, Ricci Scheldwacht, Carlo Scheldwacht, Elle van Rijn, Joey Geldtmeijer, Maurice Rugebregt, Martin Schwab, Freek Lodeweges, Charles Renoult, Bart de Vries, Lindsay Pronk, Harry van Rijthoven, Griselda Molemans, Cynthia Giezenberg, Jersey Loupatty, Alex Mehlbaum, Mandy Geldtmeijer, Reggie Baay, Judith Hees, Clara de Ceunink van Capelle, Klaas Drupsteen, Rickey Hamwijk, Jaap Pop, Patrick Neumann, Robin Drabe, René Cornelissen, Gabie Roelofsen, Priscilla Siswoko, Jaime Geldtmeijer, Maniche Loupatty, Michel Sorbach, Donnee Prawoto, Patrick Drabe, Merel Rugebregt, Michael Loupatty, Debbie van Cappellen,

Barbie König (Terence Schreurs) leaves little behind when she leaves America headlong after the death of her stepmother Patty (Gina Balzouman). Her father Buddy (Maurice Rugebregt) has been dead for years and the adulterous affair with her opposite neighbor Matt (Ryan Kessler) is still not really getting along after seven years. In addition, she found letters and cards from the family in the Netherlands in her stepmother’s belongings, which sparked her longing for her grandmother Em (Anneke Grönloh) with whom she always had a very close relationship.

In the Netherlands, the reception of the family is somewhat lukewarm. Barbie’s arrival is considered a threat to Grandma Em, who is in frail health and near death, and a reunion between grandmother and granddaughter is being held back with all their might. But apart from that, Barbie’s presence also unwittingly reminds the family of unpleasant and violent past events that none of them like to dwell on for long. Also, the different family members have enough of their own troubles to want to immerse themselves too much in Barbie’s.

“Far from family” is a pleasant family film. There is a lot of food and in addition to the mutual warmth, there is a lot of bickering between the family members, which enhances the feeling of a real insight into a real family. The fact that there are so many family members and almost as many storylines only emphasizes this intimate and lifelike character. And just as in any family, under pressure secrets emerge that everyone is aware of to a greater or lesser extent, but of which it is always pretended that they are not there. For example, here too old is slowly being processed by the arrival of the niece from America. The role of is nicely worked out and very well played and Terence Schreurs as Barbie really only drops once when she thumps her lover Matt on the phone and cries and carries on so dramatically that vicarious shame occurs, but continues to play. she is very strong, despite the fact that her character has remained rather superficial. For someone who’s been through so much horrible in her childhood, is unwittingly pregnant with a married man, and arrived destitute on another continent, chain smoking to express all this suffering may be a bit on the meager side.

The rest of the acting is nice, but the lyrics are so lousy and definitely not pronounced realistically that a single positive outlier, such as that of Johnny de Mol, is immediately lonely. It is really strange when Barbie suddenly disappears. The relatives do go looking for her, but they hardly seem to be upset about such a young woman wandering in a foreign country, at most they find it inconvenient, because they have to keep her away from Granny Em at all costs. . A misguided kind of lightheartedness.

The Indian approach is strong and weak at the same time. The family is Indian, but fortunately the is not immigrant kitsch, they are just ‘normal’ people with the usual problems and that is nicely symbolic of the almost silent integration of this large ethnic minority. But besides all the Indian food and some casual talk about the Jappenkamp, ​​there is nothing that feels compelling Indian, for example you can see the food, but you don’t smell or taste it and what makes the family typically Indian … This all too varying level is typical of the whole movie. Fun and entertaining, but not a high flyer, despite all the care and dedication that has obviously gone into it.

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