Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Journey to Greenland Netflix Movie Review

Journey to Greeland (2017)
Le voyage au Groenland 
Watch Journey to Greeland on Netflix
Written by: Sébastien Betbeder
Directed by: Sébastien Betbeder
Starring: Thomas Blanchard, Thomas Scimeca, François Chattot

In this French language film, unsuccessful thirty-something actors Thomas and Thomas decide to leave Paris and fly to a remote Inuit village in Greenland.

This wants to make a statement on social media and how busy life has become, but stops just short. It's a nice snapshot of how outsiders see an Inuit village, but the movie doesn't do enough. It avoids any heavy lifting, hoping that beautiful shots of Greenland will suffice. Two guys visit Greenland, then leave.
Skip it.

This lacks a beginning and an end. It starts a few story lines but doesn't develop any of them. Thomas 1 decides to visit his father who lives in an Inuit village in Greenland. His friend Thomas 2 tags along. Their acting careers have stalled and they want to escape life for a bit. This has virtually no setup. It would have helped to develop both Thomases before leaving. While I suppose the story is Greenland, but the movie feels like it's missing something. A typical movie would show us their failings which is the catalyst for leaving. This starts with them flying to Greenland.

I don't quite know what this movie is because I don't think the movie knows. While I thought it was two guys searching for some kind of meaning, it really is just two guys take a vacation. They don't find a home and decide to stay, Thomas 1 doesn't develop a deeper bond with his dad, they don't yearn for the technologically advanced life they left behind, and we don't see whether they miss Greenland. They go to Greenland, stay a bit, then leave.

It briefly mentions that sharp increase in suicides because the younger generation of the village has the internet for the first time and sees everything they'll never  get to do. They're stuck in the village and want to get out no matter what. This is introduced but not explored, which could have been intriguing. Thomas 1 and 2 have that advanced life, yet aren't satisfied. While they go fishing and hunting, they don't seem to have any problem leaving Greenland when their vacation is over.

At one point I wondered if strife would develop between them. They experience a bit of cabin fever with it looking like Thomas 2 becoming the surrogate son for Thomas 1's dad, but that doesn't happen either.

This wants to be a rumination on modern culture and how busy life has becomes, but it doesn't actually make a statement. It plants a few story lines before abandoning them. This could have been a lot more. I can't say for sure the Thomases were changed or affected by their trip. We see no evidence for that.


  1. I think the reviewer WANTED the movie to make a statement about social media/modern life, but instead, the movie provides a brief glimpse into the lives of the characters on their visit to Greenland. The visit does change the relationship that Thomas has with his father, but the effect is not exaggerated. The movie is subtle. Not everyone's taste, but I liked it.

  2. This was an unexpected gem. Beautiful storytelling with subtle nuances. Genuine performances showing real people. The inuit actors were particularly impressive.

  3. This was a lovely little film providing an insight into inuit culture in Greenland, beautifully shot and very funny as well as moving in places.


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