Dir.: Ioseb “Sos” Bliadze; Cast: Taki Mumladze, Mariam Khundadze, Ioseb “Sos” Bliadze, Lasho Gabuna, Giorgi Grdzelidze, Giorgi Tsereteli; Georgia 2022, 105 min.
Georgian director Ioseb “Sos” Bliadze made a big splash at last year’s Karlovy Vary festival with Otar’s Death and he is back this year with a playful comedy of manners in the style of Eric Rohmer. But be warned, behind the easygoing atmosphere generated by Tbilisi’s millennials there lurks a constant reminder of the destructive power of patriarchy. And Taki Mumladze – who co-writes and also stars in this year’s competition entry – has certainly left her ideological fingerprints all over the feature.
Tina (Mumladze) can’t wait to move with her boyfriend Beko (Tsereteli) to his family’s spacious flat. Affordable living space is rare in the capital and Tina has had to pay 300 Lari for a room in a flatshare with her friend Megi (Khundadze) who is a party animal about to head off to New York. She doesn’t really like Megi’s crowd: Vajiko (Gabuna) and Dito (Bliadze) are particularly annoying. Then Beko tells her that the move to the flat is no longer on the cards because his brother Datuna is shortly to be released from prison, after serving a sentence for stabbing Tina (his ex) for cheating on him with Beko.
The romantic tables are suddenly turned when the lonely Tina finds herself falling for her ‘landlady’ whose departure is only a few days away. We are left wondering whether Megi’s trip to the US is just wishful thinking – and, what will happen to Tina, if Megi does decide to go.
All this happens in a haze of cheap alcohol and drugs, DoP Dimitri Dekanosidze tracking the party people in long shots as proceedings descend into a meltdown of drunken one night stands. Tina is astonished and disturbed by the debauched goings chez Megi but she soon finds her feet and joins in the fun with Giorgi (Grdzelidze), later sobbing into Megi’s arms, who comforts her: “Giorgi has a very small penis, but he knows how to use it.”
This fast-paced and flowing feature once again confirms Bliadze’s surprising maturity and integrity as a director with writing skills to match his confidence behind the camera, and for once the sophomore feature is not derailed by the success of the debut. AS
KARLOVY VARY FILM FESTIVAL 2022 | BEST ACTRESS WINNERS Taki Mumladze and Mariam Khundadze