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The Loneliest Planet

2.2 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Alex and Nica are young, in love and engaged to be married. The summer before their wedding, they are backpacking in the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia. The couple hire a local guide to lead them on a camping trek, and the three set off into a stunning wilderness, a landscape that is both overwhelmingly open and frighteningly closed. Walking for hours, they trade anecdotes, play games to pass the time of moving through space. And then, a momentary misstep, a gesture that takes only two or three seconds, a gesture that's over almost as soon as it begins. But once it is done, it can't be undone. Once it is done, it threatens to undo everything the couple believed about each other and about themselves. All the while, they are not alone. They are always with the guide, who witnesses their every move. The film plays off the relationship between young travelers and the places they travel to, between guide and guided. But at heart, it is a love story -- a tale about betrayal, both accidental and deliberate, about masculinity, failure and the ambiguities of forgiveness.

Product Details

  • Actors: Gael Garcia Bernal, Hani Furstenberg
  • Directors: Julia Loktev
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2013
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00A92MG88
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,916 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I have enjoyed the scenery and the camera work that is featured in this movie. Julia Loktev is a great director.
I hated the story. Basically it's about 2 hipsters that are about to get married in 2 months who go to Georgia (country, not US state) for some awesome hiking with a guide. As it happens, things get real for them: a random passerby shoves a giant gun in their face for one reason or another. As you might expect: this happy-go-lucky pair freaked and were quite upset for the rest of the movie. Gone was their childish naiveté of how everything is wonderful and happy in the world: people have guns in poor countries and they use them. After the incident: there was no coddling by their guide either, this made things a lot more upsetting for them. The guide was a sly fellow and caused some trouble of his own for this pair of bozos.
The only way I can relate to the storyline is from the NYT article a couple of years ago about a bunch of, similarly naive, 20-somethings moving into Bushwick, Brooklyn and then get robbed at gunpoint inside their apartment as they were just moving in. They were very surprised that this has happened to them. Yes, people have guns in poorer neighborhoods and they use them.
I would definitely watch this movie for the beautiful scenic vistas of Georgia. However if you are easily irritated by stupid, hapless urbanites - do not bother.
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I agree with the other reviewers that this film is not mainstream. The fact that it's an indie film perhaps makes that obvious. What's not obvious is the quiet that speaks volumes. Not a lot of dialogue, barely any. Enough though.

This couple has the relationship we all want and envy. Intimate, close, perfectly paired. I kept thinking who would they find to fit so well. They would never find what they have with each other: Inside jokes, mutual relaxed fun, extreme intimacy and knowledge of each other's habits and wants, anticipating each others needs, never bored, always close and always taking care of the other without question. Giving and receiving to each other without question. Until...

I think the message of this movie is that you never really know someone. Or, the person and yourself isn't exactly what you thought. And when you see a chink...in the person or in yourself, what do you do about it? What does it mean for the relationship. Is he/she who you thought? Are you? Was everything else a lie because of the chink. Is the chink really a chasm?

This movie made me feel and think. I felt for each character separately. It created the ability for us to have empathy for each person, and feel agony, shame, and loneliness. As a bonus, the setting was gorgeous, and we got a key hole into the Georgian culture and unrest.
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Format: Amazon Video
"The Loneliest Planet" is one of those tiny indie films where not much happens and just about everything of import is occurring silently within the main character's psyche. As such, it may not appeal to all audiences. Long stretches of the picture are without dialogue as the camera gets up close to its subject and just sort of lingers there. I like an introspective character piece as much as the next person, but let's be honest. Some of these pictures can be downright dull. Something has to connect on an emotional level, some sort of identification, in order to get much meaning from these narrative studies. And as "The Loneliest Planet" began, I was only mildly hopeful that I would get much satisfaction from the film. Let's just say that Julia Loktev's feature requires a great deal of patience but, for the most part, that patience is rewarded.

Gael Garcia Bernal and Hani Furstenberg play an engaged couple planning a trek through the desolate mountains of Georgia (the country, not the state). Truthfully, the camera is a voyeur that just sort of eavesdrops of the duo as they go about their daily adventures. They seem carefree enough, living for the moment. They share little flirtations, small jokes, and not much conversation. They simply exist, taking small pleasures where they can. You don't get much personal information about them, you just get this surface view of who they are. They take on a guide (Bidzini Gujabidze) for their rather lengthy journey cross country. As you might start to wonder if "The Loneliest Planet" is really heading anywhere, one moment will change everything. One instinctual move will cause the couple to reflect on everything they once thought was solid.
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Format: DVD
I'm first to confess to not being the sharpest knife in the drawer. For example, I have no idea how the title of this movie has anything to do with it. A lot of things in this film are confounding to me.

*********SPOILER ALERT*********

But most of all, in the most important scene of the movie, we never learn why the young boy was agitated, why the old man put a gun to the head of Alex, why it took so long for the guide to intervene, if he even did. Most important, why the guide was asked about it afterwards, briefly, but never replied.

That crucial scene, the one that gives the second half of the movie its reason for existence, is inexplicably unexplained.

I thought Alex acted normally during the scene. When the rifle first came out, he instinctively put Nica in front of him. Not the height of chivalry, of course, but self preservation instincts taking over, I guess. Then he quickly realized what he had to do, to shield Nica, and he stepped in front of her. He then didn't bawl, cringe or bargain. He stood, awaiting his fate, maybe hoping the rifle had only one bullet in it, for him only.

If Nica was disappointed in her to-be husband, and she was, she conveyed it through silence and separation. (Quite a useful communication skill there. One, fortunately, my wife never learned. Partly why we're married 44 years.) Alex tried to bring her back, but she made it much too hard for him.

Instead of Alex and Nica talking it out, the dialogue we do get are dumb jokes about birth control in China.

I thought this movie had the chance to be quite good. "All" it needed was a plot, editing (especially editing), and dialogue.
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