×

Film Review: ‘Horizon’

This accomplished, absorbing, even-handed look at the pain of a marital breakup should broaden director Tinatin Kajrishvili's fan base on the festival circuit.

Director:
Tinatin Kajrishvili
With:
George Bochorishvili, Ia Sukhitashvili, Jano Izoria, Soso Gogichaishvili, Lika Okroshidze, Nana Datunashvili, Sergo Buigishvili, George Beridze, Beka Samdbegishvili, Luka Akhvlediani. (Georgian dialogue)

1 hour 45 minutes

Although Georgian women may not be marking a #MeToo moment in quite the same way as their counterparts in the U.S. and Western Europe, recent Georgian features such as Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross’s “My Happy Family” and Ana Urushadze’s “Scary Mother” have given their countrymen’s patriarchal attitudes a drubbing. Now, the naturalistic, melancholy-infused, observational drama “Horizon” from multi-hyphenate Tinatin Kajrishvili (a producer on “Scary Mother”) shows a discarded husband literally pining away of heartbreak, a fate usually reserved for female characters. This accomplished, absorbing, even-handed look at the pain of a marital breakup should broaden the director’s fan base on the festival circuit.

Immature, idealistic Tbilisi designer Giorgi (George Bochorishvili), known to his friends and former wife as Gio, can’t come to terms with the fact that pretty, cosmopolitan Ana (Ia Sukhitashvili) has called it quits on their marriage. He behaves as if the only thing required is some time and some flowers, and then he will be able to return from the inconvenience of his mother’s spare room to the nuclear family flat where Ana remains with their two young sons. But, in fact, Ana is already seeing someone new. And she wants to be very adult and civilized about it, something that hot-headed Gio can’t handle at all.

Spinning out of control, Gio runs from the city, just about as far as he can go. He winds up on a remote, extreme weather-wracked island in Paliastomi Lake, near the Black Sea, where he holes up in a broken-down hut on loan from a friend. In this isolated place, the pace of life is slow and the kindly attentions of the hardy souls dwelling there supply a balm of sorts for his wounded psyche. But Gio is unwilling to be distracted by duck hunting or fishing. Eventually, his mistaken belief that Ana will recall him from this voluntary banishment leads to a further and fatal loss of self.

As with her feature debut, the atmospheric “Brides” (which earned the Panorama Audience award at the 2014 Berlinale), Kajrishvili once again proves herself a canny observer of intimate relationships and their fracture points. While astute audiences will understand ahead of time why Ana wants to meet Gio in person once again, it’s incredibly painful to witness his misapprehension. But Kajrishvili credibly resists making Ana a villainess or Gio a complete fool.

In contrast to Ana and her slick, new, business-suited fellow, Gio’s neighbors on the island are the salt of the earth. Sportsman Jano (Jano Izoria) comes and goes on his boat, but elderly chicken farmer Valiko (Soso Gogichaishvili), wise widow Larissa (Nana Datunashvili) who is in touch with the traditional ways, and attractive younger worker Marika (Lika Okroshidze) have formed an alternative family structure to support and care for one another. They look out for Gio, but he is mostly too caught up in his internal angst to want to evolve into a spot in their tight unit.

The screenplay by Kajrishvili and David Chubinishvili, who also co-wrote “Brides,” takes a surprising O. Henry-like turn in the last minutes that offers an alternate view of circumstances. The questions it raises should inspire avid audience discussion at the end. As a director, Kajrishvili elicits performances that are nuanced and uniformly strong throughout.

The beauty and remoteness of the island location inspires a natural production design that is much more primal than anything that Gio would have dared to design in the city. In addition to the changing beauty of the seasons, cinematographer Irakli Akhalkatsi (who also edits) makes striking use of fire, ice, massive waves, and deep columns of snow.

Film Review: 'Horizon'

Reviewed at the Berlin Film Festival (Panorama), Feb. 8, 2018. Running time: 105 MIN.  (Original title: ‘Horizonti’)

Production: (Georgia-Sweden). A Gemini, Artzem production, in co-production with Momento Film, Stockholm. (International sales: Alief, London, Tblisi.) Producer: Tinatin Kajrishvili, Lasha Khalvashi. Co-producer: David Herdies.  

Crew: Director: Tinatin Kajrishvili. Screenplay: Kajrishvili, David Chubinishvili. Camera (color, HD), Irakli Akhalkatsi. Editor: Akhalkatsi. Music: George Khalvashi.  

With: George Bochorishvili, Ia Sukhitashvili, Jano Izoria, Soso Gogichaishvili, Lika Okroshidze, Nana Datunashvili, Sergo Buigishvili, George Beridze, Beka Samdbegishvili, Luka Akhvlediani. (Georgian dialogue)

More Film

  • Grant Sputore

    'I Am Mother' Director Tackles Margot Robbie-Produced Thriller 'Augmented'

    Warner Bros. has hired “I Am Mother” director Grant Sputore to helm the science-fiction thriller “Augmented” which Margot Robbie is producing, Variety has learned exclusively. Michael Lloyd Green is rewriting an original script by Mark Townend. Denise Di Novi and Tom Ackerley are also producing. Production companies are Robbie’s LuckyChap and Di Novi’s eponymous Di [...]

  • Miley Cyrus

    Miley Cyrus Teases 'Charlie's Angels' Collaboration with Ariana Grande and Lana Del Rey

    Three of the biggest female pop stars have joined forces in a new song for the Elizabeth Banks-directed reboot of “Charlie’s Angels.” In a tweet posted Wednesday, Miley Cyrus hinted at a collaboration between herself, Lana Del Rey, and Ariana Grande in the forthcoming film. Alongside a 14-second teaser, originally posted by Sony Pictures, the [...]

  • AMC TheatresShop signs, Los Angeles, America

    AMC Subscription Program Hits 860k Members

    AMC’s subscription service, launched in 2018 as a challenger to MoviePass, has reached 860,129 members in its first 12 months. Given the unwieldy moniker of AMC Stubs A-List, the service costs between $19.95 to $23.95 per month depending on where users live. The company initially said it had hoped to sign up 500,000 members in [...]

  • Directors Guild Bans Day-and-Date Releases From

    Directors Guild Wades Into Streaming Movie Debate With Day-and-Date Awards Ban

    In a slap at streaming services, the Directors Guild of America has banned “day and date” releases from its top feature film award. The DGA announced Wednesday that it was taking the step “in recognition of the unique cultural importance of the theatrical experience to audiences and filmmakers alike.” Its national board unanimously approved the change [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    LGBTQ Groups Backing SAG-AFTRA in Member Privacy Fight Against IMDb

    SAG-AFTRA has announced that a coalition of national LGBTQ groups is backing the union in its fight for member privacy against IMDb. The groups include the National LGBTQ Task Force, the country’s oldest national LGBTQ advocacy group; GLAAD; the Transgender Law Center; the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund; Transcend Legal, Inc.; and Equality Federation. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content