Far From Home tells the story of a Nigerian teenager, Ishaya Bello, who would do anything to make sure he survives the gutters of the streets where he was brought up, and his dream of being an artist is just the right vehicle to grant him the exit that he desperately desires. Chasing his dream finally lands him in a prestigious college, Wilmer Academy, where he struggles to keep his dreams afloat while navigating a myriad of new relationships. Far from Home is a limited series released on the 16th of December 2022, and is available to watch on Netflix. It had actors like Mike Afolarin (Ishaya Bello), Elma Mbadiwe(Carmen Wilmer), Genoveva Umeh (Zina), Emeka Nwagbaraocha (Frank), Funke Akindele (Patricia), Gbubemi Ejeye (Adufe), Natse Jemide (Reggie), and many others.
It had Dami Elebe as the head writer, Nk’iru Njoku, Chiemeka Osuagwu, Jola Ayeye, and Abosi Ogba as co-writers of the script. Far From Home has gathered so much admiration from the audience and my hands are high up in respect for the work and the sacrifice that the cast and crew put in. I liked that it broke the cliché of having a ‘goodly good’ hero with barely enough flaws to survive in this world so much so that the cliché character becomes too far to relate with. However, the characters were human in every form, their flaws made them relatable and in one way or another, this remarkable movie reminded me of Shakespeare in a different light. So yes, I’ll start this review with my best impressions, the themes, and my best characters
My first best impression was the music. The music was top-notch, every sound blended with every scene, and the synergy was astounding. The costume, the makeup, and the set design was just amazing to see. The set that really caught my eye was Ishaya’s house and that of his friend, it’s one thing to make a beautiful set with rich colors, but I believe that it’s harder to create a setting that’s potent enough to portray an average life in the ghetto. Ishaya’s family is not the poorest, neither are they the richest in the community, which makes that average middle ground difficult to portray, yet they pulled it off easily
Now, to the acting. The actors wore their roles seamlessly, there was no character that was easy to portray, and even the extras in the movie must have put in a lot of work. I liked the consistent character development of every character and I liked how Ishaya developed from being a Shylock to more of a compassionate Romeo in the end. To be honest, why I decided to see the movie because I saw Genoveva and Emeka as major characters, and I knew that if not for anything, those two would churn out their best in their roles and they outdid themselves. Elma Mbadiwe (Carmen), and Tomi Ojo (Rahila) deserve the proper accolades for the work they put into bringing their characters to life.
Funke Akindele brought her A-game to this one, as usual, she brought the strict disciplinarian Yoruba mother to light with her performance. Adesua Wellington brought her own flavor, although she appeared only in a few scenes, she left her mark of expertise in every scene and it was delightful to watch. I loved the chemistry between Bimbo Akintola and RMD (Carmen’s Parents), they had this strong calm chemistry, sure evidence of their doggedness and experience in the industry, the same applies to Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha, and Oge Okoye. As for Bolanle Ninalowo (Oga Rambo), he did so well that I wonder if there is any other Nigerian actor that would have worn that role better than he did.
Now to my favorite part of my reviews, the themes that I gathered while seeing this movie,
- Putting the ‘Eve’ of Your Dreams Under Control
In the garden of Eden when the serpent had already deceived Eve, she stretched the half-eaten apple to Adam to partake in her downfall, he collected and ate. I like to imagine the look on Eve’s face when she offered him the apple, that’s exactly how we’re tempted to step on the heads of other people to achieve our own goals. Dreams are always valid as long as you’re not aspiring to create a more deadly virus than Covid-19, however, it’s the path we want to take to achieve them that matters. Ishaya, while on the quest to achieve his dreams veered towards many vices, many people would say that he barely had any other choice than to do what he did, however, he did what he did at the expense of his family and his friends. Working hard to achieve your dreams is one thing, but doing it at the expense of others is an irreversible debt that you might likely keep on paying till you kiss the grave.
- The Harsh Realities of Parenting
Schools are made up of children of different families with divergent mindsets, that’s why parents have to be very careful in choosing a school for their kids. Now, it’s arguable that it really isn’t the school but the kinds of friends that a child comes in contact with, but I’m addressing the fact that it’s not just the cute commercials on television, the pretty uniforms, the big buildings, and the rich kids that make a school but whether or not you’ve studied your child’s personality well enough for you to help him through with his studies. Children can survive anywhere as long as they have their parent’s full support, I mean support in the sense of the attention given to such a child.
This is where I loved Frank and his Mum (Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha), she was always there for him which was why she was able to discern his emotional needs, but that’s not the case for Ishaya, Carmen, Nene, and Atlas. Nearly all of them have parents who are either too busy, careless or don’t have the slightest idea of the mental, and emotional volcano erupting in the hearts of their children. Putting food on the table should be no excuse for being careless about the emotional needs of your child, especially young adults. Teens and young adults might act like they’re okay but there’s a lot going on in their heads that’s where parents are to close in the gap, and if they don’t, then their wounds would be open for outsiders to heal.
- Bloated pride is not proof of self-confidence
I got this one from Atlas (Olumide Oworu), and his mother (Ufoma McDermott), there’s this crazy thing that most people fall prey to and that’s bloated pride. Now, I’m not saying that you should look down on yourself, neither am I saying that you should worship the ground as a rich man walks by but I’m saying that respect should be given to people as when due. Atlas was ready to skin Frank and Ishaya alive, he had this façade of superiority knowing fully well that he barely carried as much weight as he claimed. His pride, lack of respect, and zero self-control quickly swept him off the table of importance in no time. When I saw his mother, I sighed in disbelief because the fruit doesn’t fall too far away from the tree.
All in all Far from home is a great movie, I loved every scene and the valuable lessons that I got from it, it’s an 85% for me. If you’ve seen the movie, tell me how much you liked it in the comments section, if you haven’t seen it, I really hope that I haven’t spoilt it too much for you. Far From Home is still streaming on Netflix. That would be all from me, happy holidays my people!
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I strongly disagree with the funke akindele and the disciplinarian parenting you think she portrayed.
She was the worst kind of mother to ishaya and the family situation made it look like whomever lives ishaya comes across; he destroys. Why favour a child over another and their sense of entitlement irked me that I felt like punching his entire family through my screen.
Here I was thinking Rahila was going to be like a shoulder for him as per siblings but MBA nu she turns out to be just as entitled and an even bigger nuisance to him.