Sam Rajan’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Every place ends up looking the same." [subtitled]
Distant is a movie that doesn't really have any emotional appeal, yet has the ability to drain all emotion out of you once the credits roll. I wonder if it was the director's intent to make us feel as empty and longing as its protagonists. Perhaps my sense of longing for more from is the movie was meant to parallel the characters wanting more from their own loves, and the moments where I was bored paralleled some of the long takes in the movie where there is little dialogue or action going on. While the plot is quite simple in nature, it relies on the viewer picking up on the characters' emotion (or lack of in this case) and the amount of detail around them in order to better appreciate it. I don't think I've figured this movie inside and out after only one watch, but I can understand what it is trying to say and even appreciate the message and the way it was delivered.
Oh and the shots and cinematography in the movie are gorgeous. I don't know where to put that in this review, but you should know that.
If you couldn't tell, this is definitely not the most accessible movie out there. I'd highly recommend watching The Past (2013), The Hunt (2011), and Lost in Translation if you want to get into those slower paced dramatic movies. While Distant, perhaps ironically, gets you to understand how the characters feel through its style, it comes at the expense of connecting with them on a personal level. I still liked it and understood its ideas well enough, but I don't love it.