‘The Weekend Away’ Movie Review: Murder Mystery In Croatia

A new movie, The Weekend Away, starring Leighton Meester, on Netflix
has jumped to the top of the streamer’s Top 10 charter across many countries, the first weekend after the film’s release on March 3.

The Weekend Away is a tense murder mystery all taking place within the beautiful setting of the Croatian coast. Young mother Beth (played by Leighton Meester) goes on a weekend trip to Croatia with her best friend Kate (played by Christina Wolfe). Beth is meeting Kate there, where her friend has managed to secure a grand AirBnB
for their stay. Beth leaves her new-born baby for the first time in the care of husband Rob (played by Luke Norris). But the holiday soon goes awry when Kate goes missing, and Beth finds herself accused of her murder.

The Weekend Away is a suspenseful movie, with plenty of twists in its tale, but a rather thin plot line. Directed by Kim Farrant, the film is based on Sarah Alderson’s novel who adapted it to the screen herself, transposing the plot to Split, in Croatia.

Beth and Kate have not seen each other since the birth of baby Aster. This weekend trip is a sort of reunion for the two best friends. As they go on a night out together, Kate seems to be pushing her friend out of her comfort zone and have a one night stand. The two friends are complete opposites. Beth is demure, wearing no make up, visibly exhausted from being a new mother, which contrasts with Kate’s sparkly blue dress and her flagrant extroverted energy.

The events of the night-out turn into a blur for Beth, who wakes up in bed at her lush rented apartment. Kate is, however, nowhere to be seen. Unbeknownst to the lead character, the opening shot of the movie has already informed the viewers where Kate is: floating face down in Croatian waters. Beth frantically calls her friend, but gets no answer. She finds no help at the police station, where police officer Pavic (played by Amar Bukvic) dismisses Beth’s concern over her friend’s disappearance, taking her for another inebriated tourist. The film quickly turns into Beth’s search for her friend as she tries to remember what happened during their night-out. Taxi driver Zain (played by Ziad Bakri) decides to help her look for her friend across the city and retrace her steps during that fateful night-out.

Searching for her best friend across Split, Beth will discover certain things about Kate, which directly affects her and her future. When Beth becomes a suspect in Kate’s murder, things soon turn scary and confusing for the young mother. Who can Beth trust? It turns out that there isn’t that many people around her, including those back in London, whom she can really trust. The local police are dismissively unhelpful. She discovers her AirBnB host to be rather creepy. Only Zain seems trustworthy.

An intriguing rapport establishes itself between Beth and Zain that merited to be developed further. If a larger scope had been given to Zain’s character, a Syrian refugee, exploring his past and new life in Croatia, it would have made for a richer narrative. But, this would have deviated the film from its prime concern: Beth. This is a movie entirely told through Beth’s perspective. Viewers experience her nightmare get-away trip, following her every step of the way. Meester’s performance as the exhausted new mother Beth is strong enough to sustain the whole film on her shoulders.

The Weekend Away is an intriguing mystery thriller, but its beautiful Croatian coast scenery cannot really make up for how predictable some of the film’s plot twists turn out to be.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/sheenascott/2022/03/05/the-weekend-away-movie-review-murder-mystery-in-croatia/