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Here (DVD Review)

17 Jun, 2012 By: Ashley Ratcliff

Prebook 6/19/12; Street 7/17/12
Box Office $0.02 million
$27.99 DVD
Not rated.
Stars Ben Foster, Lubna Azabal.

An American cartographer, Will Shepard (Ben Foster), has been sent out on a job to create a more current, accurate map of Armenia. Along the way, he encounters Gadarine (Lubna Azabal), a self-reliant Armenian expatriate who is a photographer. The two link up as what begins as travel companions.

Spending their days in such close quarters — they travel in Will’s jeep — the relationship turns from platonic to romantic. The couple makes good use of their time traveling the sprawling Armenian countryside. Will stops periodically to get mapping work done, while Gadarine snaps photos of their journey. They even stop to dine with Gadarine’s old friends, who drink vodka like water and welcome the voyagers with good conversation and lots of warmth.

Not much is revealed about Will’s past. From his interactions with others, all we know is that he’s a good sport, adventurous, generous, patient and kind. Gadarine has a bit of a strained relationship with her highly traditional parents, who are displeased that their daughter has left her homeland for a career in photography.

We know that the fun will have to come to an end at some point in the couple’s journey, and when it does, the viewer feels a sense of bittersweet closure.

Weaving together the highs and lows of Will and Gadarine’s life on the road are poetic commentaries from narrator Peter Coyote, which prompt the viewer to stop and evaluate what’s transpiring on screen. Here, in that regard, is an interesting take on the typical road trip romance film.

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