13 Tzameti: A Review

Posted by Abdel Kadz on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 with No comments
I’ve watched a lot (I mean, a LOT) of great quality, festival movies whenever I get an SRD (Self-Review Day) from the review center. I’ve been meaning to write reviews of all of those. But due to time constraint and a hectic schedule, I didn’t get to critique those on the day that I saw them. But now, while waiting for time to pass, I’ll give my thoughts on at least one of the films that struck me when I watched it--13 Tzameti.

This is the film that “Ang Pagdadala ni Maximo Oliveros” lost to in the Sundance Film Festival for the coveted World Cinema Jury Prize, and the reason is obvious enough (not being hard on Auraeus Solito’s directorial debut though).

We meet Sebastien who one day works on the roof of Godon for extra cash. We see Godon walking out of his house somewhat dazed, and the reason why is made apparent in the latter part of the film. We see a guy, too, who for unknown reason was spying on Godon (but the why gets to be disclosed as well). Godon was waiting for a mail that gives him instructions and directions to a secret meeting place where a different kind of “roulette” is played. However, Godon dies of an OD and the letter was blown out of the window where Sebastien gets to find it. Now, not knowing what it was all about, he went to the rendezvous point as Godon's replacement and the scenes that ensued, well, you’ll have to see the film to believe it. So no spoilers here.

This film totally blew me off. The plot was all too original, and the portrayal of George Babluani as the unbelieving, I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing-here Georgian immigrant is just so convincing that you’ll feel the tension when the “roulette” begins up until the climactic finale, which was perfect. With all that anticipation, it makes you wonder how a story like this will end. Kudos to Director Gela Baluani and the rest of the cast. I hope Pinoy filmmakers get to create something like this. 4.5/5

More reviews soon.