Far from Men

2014

Drama / War / Western

110
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 6,466

Synopsis


Downloaded times
July 19, 2020

Cast

Reda Kateb as Mohamed
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
932.94 MB
1280*720
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
101 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.87 GB
1920×1080
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
101 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by punishable-by-death 8 / 10 / 10

Can Viggo do anything wrong??!

A French production about the Algerian War of Independence. Viggo Mortensen. Nick Cave and Warren Ellis handling the OST. That was easily enough to hook me into this. Daru's (Viggo) history is hidden in smoke when the movie starts, as he calmly teaches young children… About France, and French geography. So we know that he is involved with the settlement of the French in Algeria in some way, but something has caused his retreat to the Atlas mountains to teach. We aren't told why, but it is made visually obvious by the extended, incredible panoramic shots of these mountains. His retreat to a peaceful life is shattered, as he is handed a prisoner, a dissident against the French settlement who is to be escorted to a trial and, ultimately, execution. This hand-off occurs early in the movie, and throughout the journey makes for some emotional scenes as the two extremely different men slowly understand each other. Despite Daru's protests, the prisoner Mohamed has accepted his fate. Much to Daru's angst then, they begin their journey. It seems like half the film is made up of distant, landscape shots; I was staring mouth agape, my eyes scanning over the big screen to take it all in. These shots are difficult not to stare at, but they aren't simply of the mountains – as the movie progresses we see similar shots, but in these we can just make out a track, and even smaller are the two journeymen who look like ants, even on a cinema screen. If that isn't a visual metaphor for the exhaustive journey the two have in front of them, I don't know what is. It also shows just how far away from home both men are – in completely different ways. They are in the same boat, trying to keep it from sinking, yet they on the surface they couldn't be more different. The film's concept certainly is nothing special: Two people making a long trek across dangerous territory, facing their own mortality, their values and beliefs. The film's exploration of character gives it depth and humanity, while conversely the pair's journey is filmed like a Western, with the raging war for independence providing a violent background to their struggles. Both men have stakes in this war, though again these are very different, and at first unclear. While very different men in many different ways, the one thing they do share, and the one motif that consistently rears its head is honour, and the different ways this value can be interpreted, both during war and otherwise. Themes like this dominate the film (and not in a bad way!) as the journey of the two men is an intimate study of selflessness, doing the right thing, respect, and loyalty. For the most part, this film could easily be transferred to one of many Middle-Eastern countries. Which is in many ways very unfortunate, as many people and countries are still fighting for individuality and freedom from oppression and war. There is no doubt that this notion was considered when writing this film. Unsurprisingly, Viggo is stellar in his role, speaking a slightly accented French to match his Algerian born character. If it were anyone but Viggo you could accuse him of showing off! But he does it so naturally and fits into the film's world so well that you just can't help but admire the guy. Reda Kateb, as the dissident/prisoner, plays an apt and very somber role, fitting his character. Both are essentially in every scene, but the film is far from boring, as not only do we gradually find out more about these two and their respective pasts, what they endure in the final act will have you on your toes. One last thing that was very noticeable to me was the sound-editing and mixing. The use of silence, sounds of harsh winds when appropriate and an ambient OST all combine to create an incredible atmosphere. This combination also creates a unique feeling of tension throughout, especially when the music slowly creeps up on you, letting you wonder where the long trek will lead both men. This effect of tension is heightened drastically when the story takes a sudden, sharp turn. I know I jumped out of my seat a couple of times, not due to anything surprising, but due to the incredible use of music to accompany the images on-screen. This is Cave and Ellis' fifth effort at a soundtrack (I could be wrong on that number) and their second with Mortensen. Somehow I think they have a knack for this! With the most slight of alterations from the source short story by Albert Camus, combined with other texts he wrote about Algeria in the 30's, director David Oefhoffen has created a seamless adaptation. The film certainly doesn't go down the track one would expect from this type of film, which it must be praised for. It is a pity, then, that the last 20 minutes of this film feel so tacked on and separate from the tone set by the first 80 minutes. It almost felt as if they wanted to get past the 90-minute mark, where in reality this film would have been a lot better if it had ended at the 80 minute mark. This is the only major flaw that I could see, that and perhaps the unoriginal narrative. This is obviously a film for those who are fans of foreign films, art films, or Viggo Mortensen. I happen to be a fan of all three so I was very satisfied! www.epilepticmoondancer.net

Reviewed by TimMeade 10 / 10 / 10

Builds into Gripping Drama

There is something eerily enigmatic in seeing a lone teacher in a one-room school in the middle of nowhere. It was used to great effect in Ted Kotcheff's re-discovered 1971 Australian classic Wake in Fright and director David Oelhoffen conjures similar ambiance in his ultimately gripping Algerian-based drama Far From Men. Set in 1950s Algeria against a backdrop of growing civil unrest to French colonial rule, Daru (Viggo Mortensen), is an apparently unassuming French teacher in a remote and barren outpost, educating young Arab children on matters French with no apparent nod to their own heritage. His isolated retreat is broken by the manacled arrival of Mohamed (Reda Kateb) on a charge of the murder of his cousin. He is ordered to take the prisoner to the nearest French administrative centre where he knows full well that after a perfunctory trial, the Arab will be found guilty and executed. More than reluctant to undertake this task, which he clearly views as accessory to a killing, events take a dramatic turn leaving the diffident teacher with no moral alternative but to Do as instructed. The film then follows their journey as they head out over rocky, mountainous terrain. Oelhoffen and cinematographer Guillaume Deffontaines take full advantage of the Algerian desert landscape, frequently showing the two men pitted against its magnitude and harsh, extreme conditions. It is exceedingly well shot, drawing the audience in with its captivating imagery. Music from Australians Nick Cave and Warren Ellis was unobtrusive. Initially slow-burning, the film bursts into energy with gripping drama, twists and turns. As the back stories unfold, the surprising resilience and phlegm shown by the quiet teacher is understood. The conclusion was unexpectedly poignant. The concept and themes of two diverse men on a road journey pitted against elements and events far bigger than them are not unfamiliar. But the injection of unexpected plot devices and character development keep the film fresh and the audience engaged. Performances from both Mortensen and Kateb are strong and the two actors gel together well.

Reviewed by bert-huys-242-355755 10 / 10 / 10

excellent drama

The movie is timeless, with a great story, breathtaking landscapes and Viggo Mortensen - as always - excellent, and he speaks at least three foreign languages in this French movie. A must seen movie and the best one I have seen all this year 2015. You have in this feature the sad and beautiful story of a short and poignant friendship during war in Algeria. Two very different men who will have to fit together, against all odds. I think Viggo Mortensen does well to play in 'little movies',his acting is getting better and better as he is getting older. I saw the movie with only 15 people in a little cinema. What a shame that big cinema buildings don't show this one. But I don't mind, then all the people are at least interested! Everybody should go to the cinema to see this excellent drama!!!

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