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  10.000 Km Long Distance Lovers
Year: 2014
Director: Carlos Marques-Marcet
Stars: David Verdaguer, Natalia Tena
Genre: RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: English Alex (Natalia Tena) and Spanish Sergi (David Verdaguer) live together in Barcelona and are very much in love, so much so they are half-planning to have a baby soon, should circumstances permit. After a passionate pre-breakfast encounter where they almost jokingly hope their coupling will result in a pregnancy, they get out of bed and set about making the first meal of the day, but Alex happens to check her e-mails and is shocked to see things are moving far faster than she anticipated. She has received a job offer in Los Angeles to pursue her dream of being a photographer, but this means Sergi won't be able to travel with her...

As the twenty-tens progressed, filmmakers got to grips with new technology like never before. Gone were the days when having a phone on you in a horror movie was a drawback for the writers, since the gadget could be increasingly easily incorporated into the plot, and indeed was expected by the audience to factor in. But there was another strain of movies that embraced tech to the point of making it the theme of the storylines, allowing the events to play out on screens the characters were glued to; often, these would be thrillers and horrors, but in 2014 Spanish director Carlos Marques-Marcet concocted a romance on what looked like a severe cost-cutting measure.

The first twenty minutes or so were a casual depiction of the couple in question's relationship where we were treated to an unbroken take - maybe not so much casual as a show-off bit of business of what the digital camera was capable of, but it brought in the notions of intimacy that Alex and Sergi were soon to be bereft of. Yes, she takes the opportunity of a lifetime and cash-strapped Sergi is forced to stay behind, but they still have their internet connection, giving rise to a set of circumstances that was part would-be tearjerker and part presentation of product placement from internet companies to demonstrate the boundless abilities of their online wares.

If you did not mind being somewhat relentlessly advertised to for just over ninety minutes, and to be fair it is difficult to see how else Marques-Marcet could have gone about this, then there was a pertinent matter in the couple's refusal to let each other go here, which was that while the technology could bring people together over great distances, if you were in love then there remained the frustrating barrier to getting close to the object of your affection. The act of touching someone you cared about was simply not possible when you were so far apart, and until someone developed a method of allowing that sensation over the net, which would probably go horribly wrong in a dreadful abuse of the possibilities if they did. But this wasn't so caught up in those negatives.

It was caught up in other negatives, on the other hand, as Alex and Sergi keep chatting to each other over their connection, cueing one of the least welcome tricks in the twenty-first century filmmaker's arsenal, the screen filled with pixelated and jerking imagery to simulate the experience of communication over a connection that was not as smooth as you would like: this had quickly become a cliché, especially in the suspense genres. 10.000 Km was not a suspense piece, or rather, there was a question of whether an admittedly likeable couple could stay the distance (literally) or if they would break up before the end credits rolled (much like the images on their laptops). They had their high points, mostly little jokes and exchanges of affection, and their lows when the fact they miss one another looks set to split them up and we get a dose of histrionics. There were musings over whether the modern world was separating us so far that this isolation would be what we were now used to and being in the same room was a problem, but in the main this wanted a bittersweet tone.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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