In the understated and intimate film 10.000 Km, a couple must deal with being separated in a long distance relationship and learn not only how to deal with the physical and emotional distance, but also the problems that arise when apart for so long–as well as the problems that had always been present, just easier to detect once they’re not sharing a living space.
The film, directed by Carlos Marques-Marcet, centers on a young couple living in Barcelona. Natalia Tena and David Verdaguer star as Alex and Sergi, whose lives are strung apart when Alex is relocated for a year in Los Angeles for a job, putting their lives on pause.
While I had some nitpicks about the running time (for a film featuring footage mainly through technology, it lingers a little too long) and the infrequent hollow moments, 10.000 Km is largely a success. We’ve seen films before about the perils a long distance relationship can face (a recent one being the Felicity Jones-led Like Crazy), but the Marcet-directed film sets itself apart with its core relationship being one to actively root for. Where in films such as Like Crazy you can’t help but roll your eyes at some of the sillier choices the characters make (such as staying in the U.S. longer than your visa permits “for love”), Alex and Sergi are instantly more heartbreaking because for most of the film, they’re making good decisions and they’re being supportive and charming and in love in a way that feels lived-in and comfortable. Tena and Verdaguer share a palpable chemistry, and the opening moments where we get to witness their routines and their energy is enough to believe in the two and life they share.
It helps that Tena and Verdaguer also give committed performances throughout, considering they are the only two characters we ever meet. Others are mentioned or heard talking on the other end of one, but Sergi and Alex are the crux of the story, and it survives on their innate watchability. Neither character seems to be wholly in the right or wholly in the wrong at any given time, and it’s nice to see a relationship that feels real face real circumstances and problems in their relationship. Verdaguer is particularly impressive, managing to convey a gamut of emotions with very little.
The script is tight, rarely hitting a false note or one what that rings shallow. The dialogue between the two characters is effortless, guided with a rhythmic flow, and the scenes where nothing is said are equally as impactful. Take a moment where the two are trying to be intimate via Skype and Alex is let down when events don’t go the way she planned. The scripted way in which she tilts her laptop so that Sergi doesn’t see her face is heartbreaking.
10.000 Km is a small film about an all encompassing romance and the real tests of distance. It’s not the biggest film out now, and it likely won’t make much of a mark, but if you have the chance to see it, seek it out. It’s a remarkably emotional film, one that pulls at your heart strings long after it’s ended.