Ada (Karina Smulders), Esther (Anna Drijver) and Marjorie (Elise Schaap), three women of very different backgrounds, find themselves on the same flight to New Zealand, joined in part by the fact that they are all post-WWII war bride on their way to start new lives. Already married into a strict religious sect, Ada meets Frank (Waldemar Torenstra), a handsome explorer seeking to make his fortune in this new undiscovered land, and immediately sparks fly. Esther, an independent-minded Jewish woman, journeys down under with dreams of becoming a top fashion designer rather than a conventional matriarch. And Marjorie wants nothing more than to have babies, and lots of them.
But, of course, there will be complications that will lead to shared secrets among these women with Frank as the thread that binds them together. Some of the soapy melodrama gets washed away by director Ben Sombogaart’s ability to tell huge chunks of the story without dialogue, which spares the audience dialogue filled with tired cliches and simply lets the action (and the beauty of the land) speak for itself — although the structure of Marieke van der Pol’s screenplay includes a modern link, Frank’s funeral, which brings the women back into each other’s stories after decades apart. Instead of heightening tension, this decision ratchets up more bubbly drama that never reaches a truly romantic fever pitch. Grade: C-
Opens Sept 2.