2011 / Director. Julia Loktev.
The script for THE LONELIEST PLANET must have been about 5 pages long. Let me give you the abridged version; "walk walk walk. walk walk walk. something happens. walk walk walk. leave the audience emotionally drained". This is definitely a film for patient viewers. A newlywed couple hike across the Georgian wilderness with a local guide. It's the trip of a lifetime until something happens suddenly and within a split second their adventurous spark is doused. Very little actually happens and yet you come away feeling that you've experienced something pivotal in these people's lives. The performances are brilliant with the surprise revelation being an understated but powerful performance by local Georgian actor Bidzina Gujabidze. He's outstanding. This is a film that will challenge a lot of people and I imagine many will turn off. I just so happen to enjoy these types of long, meandering movies. It has that grand, sweeping, majestic look that Into the Wild and The Way also had. The landscape is gorgeous and it's photographed beautifully. Director Julia Loktev takes her time. She's in no hurry to tell this story and allows it to unfold naturally. Of course this means huge stretches of silence. Walking. Walking. Walking. Most of the large, panoramic shots are accompanied by engaging music but the scenes cut so suddenly and the music CUTS to an abrupt silence. I personally found this annoying and disconnecting. Others might disagree. Nevertheless The Loneliest Planet is a provoking yet taxing experience. The credits rolled and I sat in silence for a few minutes... like a stunned mullet. Then as suddenly as the film's mood changed, I made haste for the coffee machine. Espresso. Double Shot. STAT!