Volker Schlöndorff – Homo Faber AKA Voyager (1991)
A man who has spent his life running away from his past. He is forced to finally deal things that he has left unresolved. When fate puts him on a collision course with the life that he reluctantly walked away from.
Voyager was directed by Volker Schlondorff, who’s other notable films include The Tin Drum and Death of a salesman. The screenplay for Voyager was written by Rudy Wurlitzer (Two-Lane Blacktop, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid). The screenplay was adapted from Swiss author Max Frisch’s novel ‘Homo Faber’.
At the core of Voyager is a story about a solitary man. Who is set in ways. Enter fate who then forces him to divert away from his comfort zone. When we first meet the film protagonist Walter Faber he is about to board a airplane going to Mexico. While waiting for his plane to leave he is befriended by a German man, who swears he knows him. Wanting to be left alone. He contemplates skipping his flight. A flight attendant drags him reluctantly on the flight. After the plane that that he is traveling on crashes in the desert. He slowly starts to let others in and he discovers that the German man is the brother of a old friend of his. Shortly thereafter Walter once again alters his destiny. When he decides to go with the German man who is going to see Walter’s friend. Instead of going to New York as he originally planned to do. When they arrive at the German man’s brothers home. They discover that his brother has killed himself. Walter then returns to New York only to discover that a girlfriend who he no longer cares about is not willing to let go of him just yet. Not wanting to have to deal with her. He on a whim gets on a boat for Paris. Shortly after he gets on the boat he meets a young woman named Elizabeth, who he renames ‘Sabeth’. Without giving away to much about the film main twist. Their evolving relationship is put in jeopardy the closer Walter gets to reconnecting with his past.
The opening set up leading to Walter getting on the boat for Paris is flawless. Things start to unravel once the moments he crosses paths with the Sabeth character. One of the things that makes the film from here on out lose the momentum that had been built early on. Is that the characters just seem to be aimlessly going from one moment to the next. Another things that weakens that latter part of the film is that it is not too hard to see where things are going. And by the time that the film’s conclusion rolls around. The final resolution is kind of a letdown. Without a doubt this film greatest assets are its two leads, Sam Shepard (Days of Heaven) in the role of Walter Faber and Julie Delpy (Killing Zoe) in the role of Sabeth.
— Michael Den Boer (10k Bullets)
Subtitles:English (srt), German, Russian (muxed)