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The Loneliest Planet 2012

NR CC
2.2 out of 5 stars (49) IMDb 5.5/10

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.

Starring:
Hani Furstenberg, Gael García Bernal
Runtime:
1 hour, 53 minutes

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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
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 Verified Purchase
This really could've been an absolutely amazing film. Brilliantly filmed in the country of Georgia in some of the most spectacular mountain scenery imaginable. The actors are obviously capable of excellent work. Even the basic theme of the film had a lot of promise. But the director chose to do the whole piece as though only photographed on the surface, not inhabited. The majority of words used in the film are the kinds of random nonsequitors that people say when they know each other well and have often discussed many other issues. Or the kinds of introductory banter a tour guide might use showing something to someone for the first time. And yet this film screams out for dialogue, for some sort of genuine interiority. We see the characters thinking; odd looks, frowns, queasy feelings, yet we never hear what anyone is thinking about. As if anyone ever simply has an expression divorced from thoughts. Or take a (the?) pivotal point in the film, a man points a gun at them. Then they walk on... and on... and on.. and THEY NEVER DISCUSS IT! When in history has such an event occurred among 20 or 30 somethings and there not been cascades of discussion? Supposedly this changes their relationship. I suspect the director mostly told them to stop talking. I think was a good demonstration of the limits of the "show don't tell" idea. There must be language and words. I could go on, I really wanted to love this film, but in the end I just wanted someone talk.
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By Ted on February 28, 2013
Format: Amazon Video
Acting was pretty good. Scenery would have been great if you actually got to see some of it. The plot, if you want to be generous and say it had one, was basically, take great adventure and put your lives at risk. When untrained fiance fails to be knight in shining armor, be a cry baby and don't talk about feelings. Almost screw guide, feel guilty, reconcile with fiance. Sound dumb? It was.
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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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