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The Loneliest Planet (2011) HD online

The Loneliest Planet (2011) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Thriller
Original Title: The Loneliest Planet
Director: Julia Loktev
Writers: Tom Bissell,Mikhail Lermontov
Released: 2011
Duration: 1h 53min
Video type: Movie
An engaged couple's backpacking trip in the Caucasus Mountains is derailed by a single misstep that threatens to undo everything the pair believed about each other and about themselves.

Videos

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hani Furstenberg Hani Furstenberg - Nica
Gael García Bernal Gael García Bernal - Alex
Bidzina Gujabidze Bidzina Gujabidze - Dato
Tali Pitakhelauri Tali Pitakhelauri - Guesthouse Mom
Tako Pitakhelauri Tako Pitakhelauri - Guesthouse Girl
Ani Kushashvili Ani Kushashvili - Guesthouse Girl
Kati Jamarjashvili Kati Jamarjashvili - Guesthouse Girl
Nino Pitakhelauri Nino Pitakhelauri - Guesthouse Teen Girl
Khatia Kushashvili Khatia Kushashvili - Guesthouse Teen Girl
Taira Pitakshelauri Taira Pitakshelauri - Guesthouse Grandma
Amiran Gudrshauri Amiran Gudrshauri - Kebab Seller
Joni Khueishivili Joni Khueishivili - Drunk Man
Dato Taiklauri Dato Taiklauri - Dancing Guy
Lado Gudushauri Lado Gudushauri - Dancing Guy
Gin Takiklauri Gin Takiklauri - Dancing Guy

The book passage that is read out is from "A Hero of Our Time" by Mikhail Lermontov.



Reviews: [25]

  • avatar

    Zainian

    Never in my history of going to the cinema have I witnessed more people leave a screening while the film continues to meander along. And meander it did.

    Basically a three hander with very little dialogue, some of which was in different languages and without sub-title, a ploy I assume to put us in the protagonists shoes of not knowing what is happening and what people are saying, but it was just another issue with a film that was already alienating its audience by being so boring.

    Shot in the rugged and sometimes beautiful mountains of the Eastern European country of Georgia. We witness a young couple and their local guide walk and occasionally talk, play, drink and sing. They are happy and at peace until an incident rocks their tranquil trek and there is a distance, tension and edge put through the group as they now walk across the terrain in silence and alone even though they are still together.

    I can appreciate the cinematography, the journey, the performances and ultimately what it is saying as a story, but when a film appears to basically not hire an editor and you sit through what is possibly your eighth wide shot of 3 people taking what seems to be 5 minutes to walk across the screen with some searing, but ultimately irritating music playing……enough is enough.

    Inspired by a short story, it should have been made into a short film and not one that runs 113 minutes.

    At one point the female character sings a horrendously uninteresting song around a campfire, laughs and says "It goes on and on". Yes. It does.
  • avatar

    Amhirishes

    While it does have something profound to say about relationships and how one moment can make or break them, "The Loneliest Planet" takes so long to get to its rather poignant yet elusive point, that it may seem to some as a bit too meandering. BUT, if you can stay with it, independent writer/director Julia Loktev does deliver with a payoff that is hauntingly thought provoking, with a high potential for inducing provocative discussions. Written (adapted from a short story from Tom Bissell) and exquisitely directed by Loktev using a plethora of expressive long takes, "The Loneliest Plant" stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Hani Furstenberg and centers around a young, adventurous and engaged to be married couple, who travel on a backpacking trip along the Caucasus Mountains, lead by a local Georgian guide. Sounds riveting right? Well, the initial hour does play out like a rather dull, elongated version of a short story, but then something happens that essentially changes the entire relationship dynamic, and more importantly allows the second half of this 2 hour film to slowly blossom into a tragic and quite engaging dissection of the male and female roles in a relationship. At times "The Loneliest Planet" displays thematic similarities to 2012's independent female relationship point of view film "Take this Waltz", but Loktev seems to be able to get her female visual prospective across with slightly more clarity, while still keeping a fascinating air of ambiguousness.

    The truth is "The Loneliest Planet" is a hard film to review because it is contingent on one scene (really one physical movement) an hour into the picture, that I can't really talk about. But what I can say is that the latter half of the movie (after the big scene) although consists of Bernal and Furstenberg continuing to walk around the Caucasus Mountains (mostly in silence) is quite a moving piece of cinema that does show off Loktev's Malick-esque directorial skills.

    On the other hand, this film is not for everybody. What will ultimately hold this back for many, will be the (at times) too Independent for its own good feel of the entire picture, as Loktev holds on shots for minutes at a time where nothing seems to be going on, and spends a lot of time filming characters ad-libbing their dialogue. Other issues may come down to the free flowing (slow) pacing of "The Loneliest Planet", which may leave many walking out of this movie questioning: Was Loktev's introspective inquiries really worth the journey? Final Thought: In my opinion this sort of Avant-garde piece about a couple under duress is very much a film geared more towards female audiences. That is to say, the main focus is not Bernal. He is only the vehicle that helps show the nature of the male counterpart. The real star of the show here is Furstenberg, who displays the complex prospective of a female outlook on relationships exceptionally well, and thusly what she goes through should be more fully understood by female audiences. That is not to say that men will not enjoy this film, but for most men, "The Loneliest Planet" may be too hard of a pill to swallow. Plus, if you are currently a male in a relationship, this is one movie that may only serve to plant the seed of an awkward conversation (which in turn, probably is the point).

    Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland

    Follow me on Twitter @moviesmarkus
  • avatar

    Swift Summer

    I decided I had to watch this movie after so many critics raved about it and the "pivotal scene". What a phenomenal disappointment! I felt like the writers came up with the aforementioned scene and then couldn't really figure out how to build an entire movie around that. The movie is just one long shot after another of the leads walking or eating or frolicking in bed. By the latter part of the movie I was ready to pull my hair out watching yet another minutes-long shot of the three leads walking across yet another landscape. The pivotal scene was only mildly interesting, and the reaction of the main characters to that event slowly goes from mostly reasonable to slightly bizarre by the time the film finally reaches its completely unsatisfying close.
  • avatar

    Ishnllador

    A unique, brilliantly structured art-house film that will definitely go down as one of my favorites from the past few years. It's a film that has, really, only a single plot point, and it's one that happens in a blink of an eye. The film centers on two tourists in Georgia (the country, not the state). Gael Garcia Bernal and Hani Furstenberg play an engaged couple, and the first half of the film establishes quite clearly their dynamics, and the fact that they are very much in love. Halfway through the film, the pivotal incident occurs and it's like a prism that breaks up the way the two look at each other, as well as themselves. Sure, that first hour is pretty slow moving (though the scenery in the film is so gorgeous that I was never less than engaged), but, after the incident, you look backward at every small thing that occurred. That first, sleepy hour I was basically just enjoying the scenery, but during the second hour my mind was running a mile a minute, even though, basically, nothing much was happening. It's a weird and uncompromising picture that will surely drive some crazy, but I was absolutely blown away by it.
  • avatar

    Talrajas

    This is a movie you're either going to love or hate.

    I was not a fan at all. I had so much hope that something was going to grab me and make me fall in love, but sadly nothing did. The film had a similar feel to Tree Of Life. It was long, hardly any dialogue, with long scenes of the landscape - which was beautiful, but not enough to rate the film.

    The only present story was the relationship between the engaged travelers. But with the abrupt ending to the film their story didn't seem relevant at all - so I am struggling to find the point to the movie.

    The scene towards the end of the movie when Nica and Dato are talking around the fire dragged on for so long I was struggling to keep my eyes open in the dark cinema, only to be blinded by the following scene the next morning.

    Waste of time.

    Also, if anyone can explain the purpose of the opening scene, please do!
  • avatar

    Dugor

    It starts with a girl with mismatched rug and curtains bouncing up and down without needing to dampen any chestal oscillation. Neither was there any plot or characterization to speak of or write about, so I decided to focus on the scenery, which I confess is usually my favorite part of any movie.

    The scenery in Georgia consists mostly of rocks and grass. No trees or shrubs or anything. Mostly rocks, actually. In fact, one of the male characters tries to offer the female character a rock as a present. It was a grayish, irregularly shaped rock and did not seem to impress the girl at all. Then they walked for several days, albeit not long enough for the ginger girl's black roots to emerge.

    Regarding the grass: I wonder if it might not actually have been sedges, (cyperaceae) owing to the visibly poor soil of the region. On the other hand, my knowledge of Georgian flora is meager, so don't take my word for it. Imagine my review going on like this for three- or four- hundred pages and you have a good approximation of this movie. You're welcome.
  • avatar

    Thundershaper

    I'm astonished that there are reviews praising this movie ... did we see the same film?? I completely agree with a previous review that this was agonizingly tedious. It did feel like it could have very easily been edited to a 5-10min short film, but even then it would not be a very good short. The acting was fine, but there is absolutely no plot and nothing to really act to ... they just all sort of go through the motions. I felt no attachment to the characters, no emotion, no tension ... nothing. Filmed on location in the Caucasus mountains on the Georgia border there was great potential for some incredible cinematography ... but it was potential utterly wasted. I really wanted to experience a part of the world that I likely will not see in person. What we are given is long drawn out, still distance shots or close shots that showed nothing - neither of which give any sense of the expanse and majesty of the mountain range, quite disappointing.

    Imagine the movie 'Deliverance' except the whole movie winds up really being *just* a canoe trip down a river and nothing more. You keep waiting for something to happen, but it never does. In the end I just stared at the credits in disbelief and a bit angry that there went a couple hours of my life that I will never get back.
  • avatar

    Tall

    Amazing movie. I had absolutely no expectations going in yesterday at the NYC Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall. Even felt disheartened when the director before the start of the movie said " I will see you all after the movie ... If you all are still here".

    Long story short at the end of the movie I couldn't help it but had to clap and it was involuntary. I have seen an amazing powerful piece with excellent performances by the whole cast. I do not know how to spell the name of the actress, "Jani" sounds like "Honey". She is amazing.

    Please give this movie a shot. I haven't seen any movies lately which touched upon the dynamics between a couple so well.

    Bravo to the whole team. Sure I will hear more about this movie in the news and hopefully at the awards.

    PS: It is rare for me to post on IMDb, but I had to share :)
  • avatar

    Berenn

    This movie was an EPIC waste of life. After debating on whether to watch this film or not multiple times, I decided to give it a shot. About an hour into the movie, I felt extremely bored as NOTHING had happened. I gave it the benefit of the doubt, thinking that there is no way a movie can be almost two hours long and have no point...I was wrong. I hung in there waiting for a moment of anything even remotely interesting, and I was severely let down. When I say nothing happens in this movie, I mean NOTHING. You are better off staring at the ceiling for hours than attempting to watch this life draining piece of crap. Just saying. Spare yourself the suffering of watching this movie. Seriously. There is no plot, almost no dialogue, and the dialogue that there is is nothing more than random gibberish, or it is inaudible anyway. There is no character building, and there are no explanations for any of the (very few...) actions that take place in this film. I have never actually been ANGRY at a movie until seeing this one, if you can even call it a movie. Don't waste your time.
  • avatar

    Binar

    I went to a showing of this film with high hopes and left feeling I may had just witnessed the worst feature film ever made.

    First, the character development in this film is non-existent. While the summary of the film claims the couple is engaged, there is nothing the film that tells you the slightest bit about who they are, where they are from, what they are doing in Georgia, and even the slightest reason to be interested in this couple. The man and woman are two of the shallowest and least interesting characters put on film.

    Second, the cinematography is amateur, at best. The scenery in Georgia is supposedly beautiful, but you would never know it from the static camera shots that dominate this film. And the editing is equally bad; as others have pointed out, this could have been an OK short film but unfortunately about 90 minutes of it did not make it to the cutting room floor. All in all, it takes low-budget to a new low.

    Third, the sound track could be the ring tone from hell. Blasts of quasi-classical music that abruptly end in mid-bar. The only up side of the music is it keeps you awake.

    Fourth, minutes upon minutes of ... nothing. Absolutely nothing. A static shot lasting several minutes of a trail with the three actors walking from one end of the screen to the other. If I wanted to see real-time hiking in Georgia, I'd fly there and do it myself.

    Finally, the "big moment" in the movie, when the couple is threatened by a man with a gun, not only leaves you asking yourself, "was that it?" Worse, it is completely unbelievable. If the couple are supposed to be such experienced world travelers, is this really the first time they were threatened? And what did they expect roaming around in the wilderness of a former Soviet republic ... to be greeted by a concierge? And why in the hell did none of the three characters then feel compelled to talk about what happened?

    There is simply not enough time or words to describe how bad this film is; if you have two hours of your life that you hope to never get back, then be sure to watch.
  • avatar

    Ance

    Dear God... No. Just no...I wish I could have my 113 minutes back. I would use the time to clean my A/C vents (as I had planned to do until I got interested in this hunk of doo after reading the synopsis). Seriously, I regret wasting my time on this "movie".

    How disappointing. Nice scenery. The acting is fine. No plot. No message. No character development. Nothing. a bunch of nothingness. No, just NO. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING to this thing. Nada. Ziltch. I NEVER write reviews ...THAT is how much this thing sucked.

    I only wish to warn other poor, unsuspecting souls who might consider watching this. I am actually ANGRY! Yes, it is that bad.
  • avatar

    Akinonris

    Watching sloths on the discovery channel would have been more interesting. This movie had intentions of being very deep and thought provoking without the characters actually speaking, however, the characters were not able to develop themselves or their relationship enough through the muteness to keep myself interested. The movie is comprised of long shots of the characters walking through the mountains. I could walk out of the room and come back five minutes later to the same scene of walking. The director is relying on the beauty of the scenery to carry the movie for her. Instead of directing a movie and developing characters, she should have been a photographer. If they cut out about thirty minutes of walking from the movie i might of been able to see the depth the movie was trying achieve.
  • avatar

    saafari

    This movie had serious potential. It's filmed in Georgia and the scenery is amazing. You also have three obviously interesting characters but you don't ever get to know them. In fact, I didn't even know their names until I went on to IMDb. Because you don't know anything about the two main characters (other than some tidbits revealed near the *end* of the movie) it's hard to care about them. Are they grad students? Are they American? Why do they like to travel... hell, WHY are they in Georgia? There's no story here. This is why I say the film is pretentious. The people who made the film assume that you can care about the characters without knowing anything about their story. The film is also about half Georgian/ half English with NO subtitles. Now, I get why the filmmakers may have done this. They want you to be as clueless as the two main people when the "misunderstanding" occurs. The problem herein is again, the filmmaker assuming you care enough about their story to *not* be frustrated by the fact you aren't getting any of the dialog. The two main actors speak some Georgian so they know more than we do. They are getting some of what is going on. There's also some Spanish thrown in just for kicks. Your head spins. Like mine did when I found out this was supposed to be a thriller! Huh? If you want an actual thriller about a misunderstanding that happens in this region of the world, watch "Transsiberian". I would also like to point out there are at least two instances where you have the camera pan out and you are forced to watch the characters slowly walk from one side of your screen to the other. If this is a character study, you can observe as much about human emotion by sitting on a bench at the mall on a Saturday afternoon.
  • avatar

    Goldenfang

    This is one of the worst film I've ever seen. I didn't leave during it, only because I kept thinking, "It's got to get better," but it never did.

    The resolution of the HD camera filming was excellent, and some of the filming technique was interesting, yet way overdone. For example numerous very, very distant shots of people simply walking… and walking… and walking… and walking. It radiated a silly air of contrivance with a hope and prayer to sell that and a lousy plot off as an "Art Film," which might somehow win it acclaim. Didn't work with a damn!

    As with other forms of art, there is a great debate as to what is "real art" and what is not. The Arts Community loves to say that everything a creator makes and calls art, is in fact "real art," along with a supposition that being "real art" is ergo "good art and worthwhile art." NOT TRUE!

    The plot in this movie is so well hidden that after the storyline's main incident finally happens, most viewers can't even realized that "it" was the "main incident." The movie repeatedly radiates "amateur" with respect to the plot and directing of the film. That said, the three actors give fairly good performances, but I'm sure they have been very embarrassed by the final cut, which simply stinks.
  • avatar

    Macage

    I was drawn to this film mainly because of Lisa Shwarzbaum's review in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. I watched it on Netflix instant; if I had seen it in a theater, I would have walked out. This movie gives us a young couple vacationing in the mountainous regions of Georgia and expects us to care about them without giving a single reason as to why. We know nothing about their relationship, or why they chose this vacation over something else. Instead we get lengthy scenes of them walking silently that quickly grow tedious despite the pretty scenery. No attempt at character development is made, but there is a truly painful sequence in which the woman teaches their guide how to swear in English, and so he does, again and again, for what seems like forever. After an hour of sheer boredom, our couple runs into a man and two children. The man pulls a gun on them, and then reconsiders. Why? Who knows?! Amazingly, this dangerous encounter is never discussed by the couple or their guide. Instead it's back to more boring scenes of them walking. And another dull scene of the woman singing at the camp fire! Generally speaking, I'm fan of so called "art films" (loved PARIAH and FOOTNOTE earlier last year), but this film? It's every excess of the art film laid bare in all it's boring glory. I have no idea why this has gotten good reviews...
  • avatar

    fightnight

    "The Loneliest Planet" is about an American couple on holiday in Eastern Europe, Georgia accompanied by a guide they befriend. They face some hardships and determinations, almost like a pilgrimage.

    I went to this film not knowing what to expect, So I was pretty open to anything at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

    It started out promising and intriguing, some parts were very interesting to the film's setting and the character's experience in traveling across a vast and unknown terrain. The acting is very Mediocre, the woman looks a lot like Jessica Chastain but less talented.

    Its very artistic and visually stunning in cinematography, camera-work and editing that really captures the beauty and resonance.

    The script however is very shallow and has minimal dialogue thats very incoherent, the character development isn't too good either, a lot more could have been done on most story elements which lets the film down a lot.

    I found it dragging halfway through and became disappointed about the film's conclusion. I found it quite satisfying but a bit of a let down, this is also the first film at the festival that no one clapped at the end.

    3/5
  • avatar

    Minha

    I just sign up an account in IMDb just to be able to rate this movie, which has been the worst thing ever I have watched or experienced! I don't even think that any movie can top this! It is so horrible that it is not even worth the one-star-rating!! Just the three of them walking through some green mountains and that is it! No dialog, no subtitle when its need, no story, no lines to act to, no action, no empathy, no emotion, nothing!! Nothing at all! The pivotal scene we waited for in hope that there will be an essential turnover was so insolently lame.

    The problem was: we were stuck at a small theater that we couldn't leave, so we had to sit there and punish ourselves till the end of the movie, playing angry birds or reading newspaper!!!

    For those, who wanna die bored: this film is a catch! Don't miss!
  • avatar

    Delari

    I have seen my share of bad films and I mean really bad films. I even once watched an entire Paris Hilton film. It was aggravatingly horrendous.

    To call The Loneliest Planet horrendous would be praise.

    It felt like the director had taken an excellent 10 minute short film, added 110 minutes of tediousness. The eroticism was unnecessary, the long shots were unnecessary, and the message it tried to give to the audience was overdone. The cuts the director used were simply bad, the use of music (and sudden stops)was painful.

    This movie tried so hard to say something but couldn't. It was like watching a deaf mute give a concert... For two hours!
  • avatar

    Khiceog

    I just wasted 2 hours of my life on a movie about nothing. I am a bit angry after seeing this and I have never wanted to fall asleep in a movie but this time I truly did.

    I would love to know why showing a girl peeing in the night or a man removing a tampon from a girls hoohah is somehow artistic or informative? You could have taken 1 point and shoot photo of this movie and it would tell you everything you needed to know about the story, or lack of. The Georgian dancers in the club did a better job than the writers, directors and producers of this artsy turd.

    Save your time, patience and sanity and go and watch 1.57 hr of knitting.
  • avatar

    Kerdana

    Is there a reason to like this movie? I can't find one and am surprised by those who do. What is pictured is two young characters who like to walk through rugged terrain, play word games, have sex in the dark, and stay trim. Do I have a reason to like either character? No. What I heard was inane dialog, heavy music as if something was going to happen and doesn't, very little sound of any sort to engage my ears. Was I amused by the word games, liked the music, or understood the inane dialog and stories the players tell? No. I was shown photography of some rugged terrain in the Georgia mountains, a place that few have seen. Was I supposed to be impressed by the beauty and awe of this natural setting? The answer is that it wasn't something I'd seen better done in other movies. The movie seems to suggest that relationships can change radically because of an insignificant happening. But never tell us if they change. I'm still waiting to think of a reason for liking this picture.
  • avatar

    Legend 33

    This piece of pretentious waffle made me wish the "The Tree of Life" was showing next door, just so I could use the eye of my penis to tunnel a path through the walls and watch something that in comparison, was a bloody great movie (and I hated it!!)...Why do I need to give it even 1 star? Clearly the film maker smoked one too many dried toads during the production of this one. Who do I contact to get my $18 and 113 minutes back...And where was the intriguing and secret plot twist??? The only twist associated with this movie was the one created in my stomach that made me want to spew all over the large screen the moment the screen when blank and the credits started to roll. It's pretty rare in cinemas to see people walk out mid way through, but it happened more than once. I suspect, like me, the only reason the entire cinema didn't spill into the streets looking for the first bus to jump under was the expectation that something note worthy would eventually happen. Sadly, the most noteworthy event in our cinema that night was when the guy behind me let one go in his sleep.

    I'm off to see the Office of Fair Trading - a bit of false and misleading advertising on this one!!!
  • avatar

    Manesenci

    If 0 was an option The Loneliest Planet would have got it. This is by far the worst film I have ever seen. The first hour is spent in complete boredom waiting for the "incident" to occur, and when it finally does occur its as boring and uneventful and one would imagine. The second hour is equally (if not more) boring where again nothing happens

    90% of the screen time is taken up by three people walking across the screen, the other 10% is occupied by subtitlesless foreign dialogue and zero plot or character development.

    Save your money and save your time....Do not see this movie

    I only wish someone had told me this before i went to see it.
  • avatar

    TheFresh

    The first 20 minutes, we gave this movie a chance, then I started fast forwarding.. By 50 minutes, it was clear we didn't miss anything... continue fast forwarding. Throughout the film there are maybe 3 5 minute scenes which basically ARE the movie. The rest is just people walking, eating, talking about nothing, sleeping, making out, etc. The two hour film could have been condensed into a nice 25 minute movie, but as it is, I found it incomprehensible and senseless.

    Also the girl is not very attractive. It's hard to write 10 lines of text about this movie. I will just say that the scenery is nice, but gets repetitive, and basically is at times little different from just looking at still photos. I also found the film quite predictable, in terms of what might happen and even how it's filmed. Basically its rather shallow and unsatisfying, kind of like chewing gum rather than eating something real.
  • avatar

    energy breath

    If, as the famous line from Love Story says, "love means never having to say you're sorry," then Alex (Gael García Bernal) and Nica (Hani Furstenberg), a young couple engaged to be married in a few months, are on the right track. Summer vacationing in the Caucasus Mountains in the Republic of Georgia, Julia Loktev's slow-paced but haunting film, The Loneliest Planet, follows the pair as they trek across the wilderness with back-packs on their shoulders. Based on the short story by Tom Bissell, "Expensive Trips Nowhere" which had its roots in an Ernest Hemingway story called "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, it is a thought-provoking film that has moments of brilliance, but its strict adherence to minimalism and the emotional distance it creates can be a barrier to full engagement.

    Using minimal dialogue, meaning is conveyed mostly by images, silences and sound; the sound of rocks crunching, of water falling, of footsteps walking, at times aided by the lovely music of English composer Richard Skelton. Ironically, it is an exceedingly intimate film yet, as photographed by Chilean Inti Briones, yet it has a sense of vast and empty, almost alien space that makes it look indeed like the loneliest planet. In the first frame, we hear a constant banging without knowing the source until we see the naked red-haired Nica bouncing up and down in a washbasin looking as if she's freezing. Soon the bearded Alex hurriedly throws a bucket of warm water on her.

    We do not learn anything about the characters other than what is apparent in their immediate surroundings and the fact that they are lovers. The first part of the film is mostly playful as Nica and Alex make their way through the mountains or stop in the villages, having sex and drinking, conjugating verbs in Spanish, doing stand-on-your-head exercises, or rolling down a hill. Hiking across unknown territory in a country where you cannot speak the language, a fate common to most world travelers, can be daunting and often requires a guide. At one of their village stops, Alex and Nica hire a local guide named Dato (Bidzina Gujabidze, a real-life mountaineer) who speaks halting English and is not averse to telling dubious stories with racial overtones.

    Loktev utilizes a documentary-type approach, concentrating on the everyday and the banal, yet there is an uneasy feeling that something unanticipated is going to happen. Around the mid-point of the film, as a result of Alex's thoughtless reaction to a threatening event, the dynamic of the relationship shifts. Sullen looking and uncommunicative, they walk either in front or behind one another. Neither Alex nor Nica talk about the incident presumably out of embarrassment, or because they do not know what to say, seemingly confused about what just happened and what it means for their relationship.

    The event seems to be saying, as suggested by the director, that traditional gender roles are still important. In an interview, Loktev states, "The film reaffirms very traditional gender roles. They're hiking a mountain. That's a place where traditional gender roles would show, I'd think. It reaffirms those traditional roles. That for me is the contradiction, for me personally. That I think of myself as a feminist, but I catch myself where I want a man to be a man. I want a man to be a real man." The meaning of the critical event, however, is very much open to interpretation. Loktev relates that, at a showing, she heard two people sitting next to each other in the theatre who saw it as two very different movies.

    One said that the incident in the film is something no couple can ever recover from, while the other one asked, "What's the big deal?" This only underscores the point that Nica, though she could have interpreted the incident in several different ways, decides that what occurred was significant without confirming her judgment with the person most involved or attempting to see the other person's point of view, a primer of what does not work in relationships. If, as Werner Erhard put it, love is accepting someone the way that they are and the way they are not, then The Loneliest Planet, for all its remarkable qualities, in my view sends the wrong message and misses the opportunity for an important teachable moment.
  • avatar

    Manemanu

    The movie has a documentary look--high on visual and aural detail, where the graphic realism turns the viewer into a bit of a voyeur. The acting is brilliant, natural.

    I saw the film in Mexico in an excellent theater. The pivotal and somewhat tragic scene at the midpoint (described in critic reviews) got a laugh from the largely Hispanic audience.

    From the midpoint on, the lack of dialog is unsettling, and there's not much resolution to the film at the end. Yet another celebration of dysfunctional relationships, but the film is so well crafted, we can overlook its flaws.

    A good travel flick, overall.