This sure is a beautiful-looking film straight out of the gate. I might not be one for the nitty gritty technical details and such, but whatever cameras Ryan Pace (Writer/Director) used to shoot - and whoever was doing the shooting "The Farm" sure looks like no expense was spared. Everything from the scenery to the colors of nature turned out incredibly gorgeous, and the quick and correct pacing to tell this story correctly made an immediate impact. You get that feeling of nostalgia as it begins - and you are filled with that sense of how the home is truly where the heart is. This is a film that moves slowly, but it also moves with purpose. No joke, folks, whether it's the most basic family shots or scenes of the stars above, credit where credit is due, Pace has made certain that the camera work dialed in perfectly. You get the sense that there's still some kind of trouble ahead, but at the same time, on a visual level, "The Farm" presents a stoically collected calm. Well, maybe not so much trouble, but something more like an impending sadness that our main characters can't seem to escape - that follows them wherever they go. It's heavy stuff, and it doesn't take too long into "The Farm" before we start to feel the weight of emotions at play.
"Worry makes me focus on myself and not on the ones I love." Hmmm. You start to feel the morality of this film thread its way into the plot - and become part of the main reason that Pace likely wanted to make this movie in the first place. The intentions are good, as are the lessons we can learn from "The Farm" as it plays on. Ultimately, I agreed with much of what I saw in watching this film, especially when it came to anxiousness and wondering if you can ever measure up to the person that you really want to be - within the span of one lifetime. I also related to how quickly the time in a long-term relationship or marriage seems to fly right by… you're young and foolish at the start of it all - and older and wiser in a flash.
Realistically and objectively speaking, I can see almost exactly where "The Farm" is going to run into some obstacles with its potential viewers. Don't get me wrong, I'm always happy to sit and watch just about anything to see how things play out, but I'd readily acknowledge that "The Farm" probably moves a bit too slow for the majority of folks - if I'm being truthful with you. Scenes like where the tractor becomes stuck in the mud become metaphorical in that regard, not only to our main characters' lives but to the film itself as it tries to find its way into another gear - and keep its audience engaged. In terms of a lot of what we see visually onscreen, there's more than enough chorin' going on in this movie to put our friends in "Letterkenny" to shame. So it becomes one of those things where viewers have to ask themselves if they want to watch a film about the difficulties of finding your true path to happiness - with a whole bunch of chores and farmin' along the way.
Acting-wise, I was actually really happy with "The Farm" – we rely on the two main characters of Tom and Catherine throughout the entire film, but they do a genuinely great job. In that regard, I felt like they did everything they could with the script, but the excitement is a little on the thin side – Pace could have potentially written a bit more substance into the story to move it along. However, if you're into heavy Dramas and Family films, chances are you'll have no problem with "The Farm." The relationship between Tom and Catherine is really the main strength of this movie overall, and while it's probably fair to say you get the sense there's a lot that remains unsaid between them, it's also true that they seem to have each other's back no matter what situation comes up in life, and I liked that too. As for the main plot twist that eventually comes along is concerned, it's good and effective. The only real question to be answered is whether or not it comes around too far into the film for what could be more than a few impatient viewers at that point. I don't know if it will pack quite enough of a payload for those that have felt like they were sticking with "The Farm" to see what might happen, but I'd reckon the main twist towards the end will be satisfying enough for most.
And so, I think I will split the difference with "The Farm" and give this film three stars out of five. The camera work and the acting this film features are excellent. Both Austin Chunn (Tom) and Alicia Kelley (Catherine) made it well worth the price of admission - and sticking around to find out how their story ends up. I'll readily admit there could have been a bit more going on in the story, but what we end up getting is still a very well-executed movie. There's a lot of heart to be found at the center of "The Farm," and I think most folks will appreciate that; we'd all be lucky to experience a love like Tom and Catherine share, even if it's only once in a lifetime.