Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What's your number?

               "Do you know what it's about? - No idea."

Every now and then world cinema throws up a gem from its closet which draws me into watching foreign language movies. Tzameti, which means the number thirteen in Georgian is a suspense thriller written and directed by Gela Babluani. Filmed in black and white, it is an unforgettable movia which left me restless and at the edge of my seat.

Tzameti is a story of a young Georgian immigrant named Sebastian (Georges Babluani) who works as a handyman supporting his financially weak family. He gets hired to repair a roof by a middle-aged junkie Jean Francois Godon (Phillipe Passon) who promises him to pay an advance at the earliest. Sebastian's chance of earning any money dies with the death of Godon due to an overdose. He loses his job and hope of getting any money for the work he has done. All he is left with is an envelope which belonged to Godon that had a train ticket and a paid hotel reservation. While Godon was alive, Sebastian overheard Godon talking about the envelope and how he could earn a lot of money if he followed the instructions in it. With nothing to lose and curiosity in his mind, Sebastian decides to take the trip which was meant for Godon in anticipation to get something out of it. Sebastian follows the instructions given to him once he sets off and in the meantime is also closely followed by the police. His curiosity ends him up being a part of a deadly game which he is obliged to play and chances of survival are minimal. The first half of the movie is slow and deceptive but it sets up the base for the unexpected twist that follows. Just give it time and suddenly you'll find yourself caught in the middle of a mind blowing thriller.

The best part about this movie is that it gives nothing away in the beginning. It makes you wait as things slowly unfold and once they are out, there is no escape. The fact that it's made in black and white gives it an extra charm. It offers a lot of tension and emotion and overall it makes up for the slow pace in which it started. A lot can be written about this movie, but it's best that one watches it without being exposed to any of the spoilers. Just sit back and let it take you on a ride, make sure that you buckle up first because it won't give you a chance later.


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