Movie title: Far From Home
Duration: 40 minutes per episode
Publication date: December 16, 2022.
Producer: Isioma Osage
Actors: Mike Afolarin, Funke AkindeleRichard Mofe-Damijo, Adesua Etomi-Wellington, Bolanle Ninalowo, Genoveva Umeh, Bimbo Akintola, Linda Ejiofor, Chioma Akpotha, Femi Branch, Carol King and Ufuoma Mcdermott.
It’s no secret that we’ve been keeping our fingers crossed since the South African TV series Blood and Water’ was released. We hoped that a Nigerian production company would hire a writer and submit our own youth series to Netflix or other streaming platforms.
Fortunately, our prayers were answered when Inkblot, in partnership with Netflix, released a trailer for “Far From Home”, a Nigerian Netflix original youth TV series.
We live in a world where many Nigerian viewers have been exposed to some of Hollywood’s young adult TV series such as ‘Riverdale’, ‘Never have I Ever’ and many Korean high school dramas.
So people had some expectations for “Far from home”. And it’s pretty safe that the five-part series met most of them.
Be it great casting choices, intriguing plots, great moral lessons or beautiful locations, “Far from Home” won the hearts of TV critics and thousands of Nigerians, and most notably earned a place in Netflix’s Global top 10.
The first episode introduces us to Ishaya Bello (Mike Afolarin), an ambitious artist who desperately wants to make it despite being part of a low-income family.
An opportunity strikes when Essien is chosen to be part of an art program organized by a renowned artist. Unfortunately, he has to pay more than one hundred thousand naira to be accepted into the program.
Meanwhile, Ishaya has encouraged her sister Willer to pursue her dream of getting a scholarship at the academy. Noticing her sister’s disinterest and receiving the shocking revelation that the scholarship carries a $10,000 cash prize, she decides to apply.
With the help of the illegally obtained exam answers, after joining the school and making expenses, he realized that he had N5,000 left. Before joining the school, Ishaya stole the money used for the scholarship exam from his boss/drug lord, Govt.
A few weeks later, the Government and its partner, Rambo, visit Ishaya, threatening to kill him and his family. In order to protect his sister, he suggests that Wilmer become a drug dealer at the academy.
On his first day, he meets Carmen, the founder’s granddaughter, and begins to develop feelings for her. He also meets Vima and Frank, who soon become his best friends.
Things are going pretty great as Ishaya is thriving in the drug business. Trouble arises again when Ishaya’s ex-girlfriend gets in touch, telling him about her run-in with Rambo.
As he owes Rambo a lot of money, he hatches a plan with Ishaya to kidnap Frank. After the successful kidnapping, Rambo offers to do it again, except this time with Carmen.
Ishaya refuses and turns to the school authorities to help him out of the mess. The government is captured, but Rambo escapes.
Just when the dust seems to be settling, Rambo returns and unleashes an unexpected fury on Ishaya and his friends. His plans are thwarted when the students defend him, and Aduf later betrays him.
In the end, we see Ishaya follow his dream. However, the survival of Rambo and the Government makes way for a twisted second season.
There is a lot of character development in this series. We see the growth of each character throughout the show. First is Ishaya, who started out as selfish and ambitious, but turned into a guy who becomes responsible for his own mistakes. Likewise, Adufe stands out from a strong independent woman to a lady struggling to find her groove.
The photography is also excellent. The locations, especially the Wilmer academy, represent the luxury we’ve been sold in the plot. Another great feature is the lighting; Each scene gets the right light it needs to be more realistic.
Kudos to the casting director who made sure we saw a positive portrayal of the future of Nollywood. Despite their age and experience, the actors made their characters relatable, and we couldn’t help but root for them.
The nuanced story is pretty great. The concept of portraying what it’s like to be a dreamy low-class bully is an intriguing one. And the progression of the story was not straightforward, but with twists and turns, it is quite catchy.
Far from home lacked any sense of suspense. While there were parts of the series that kept us on the edge of our seats, most of the scenes felt relaxed for a series with such high stakes.
The problem of some characters being underdeveloped is another negative feature. A good example would be General, the guy who stole the answers from Ishay. More could have been done to build this character. With a few lines and more action, he could have quickly become a potential villain that would win the hearts of the audience.
Honestly, more could have been done with the story as a whole. The writers pushed it further and introduced strong and mysterious elements into the story.
Finally, we have to talk about the costumes. While the uniforms are good, the other clothes are not so good. For a series that seems to portray the lives of rich young people, I swear I could have seen some of them wearing clothes that can easily be found in Yaba market.
The Last Judgment
8/10 See it It is a highly anticipated series that has us excited about the young talents ready to take over Nollywood.
Far from home is now streaming on Netflix.
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