The Loneliest Planet

Directed By: Julia Loktev

Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Hani Furstenberg, and Bidzina Gujabidze

The Loneliest Planet has been a film I've been curious about for some time now.  Having garnered quite a bit of love on the festival circuit and even getting nominated for a Best Feature Gotham Independent Film Award, I was of the mindset that this was going to be a great film.  However, I'm going to have to go against the grain here and say that The Loneliest Planet is a thoroughly disappointing film that leaves a lot to be desired.

Alex (Gael Garcia Bernal) and Nica (Hani Furstenberg) are an engaged couple.  They've decided to go backpacking in the Caucusus Mountains in Georgia.  Led by local guide Dato (Bidzina Gujabidze), they go on a beautiful adventure full of romantic bliss.  No vacation is without its hiccups though, and things go awry when Alex makes a poor decision with a gun to his head.  After the incident, the couple struggles to find themselves as they wander through the wilderness both physically and romantically.

The Loneliest Planet might just be the most boring thriller that I've seen all year, and I've seen some boring ones.  The dialogue is sparse.  The romance is only halfway decent.  The thrills are basically nonexistent.  All in all, I spent two hours of my life watching these three just walking.  While there are certainly gorgeous landscapes, that's not enough.  I need a real story, and The Loneliest Planet just doesn't offer that.

Because the story is kept to a very bare minimum, there's a lot of time in the movie that's wasted in my opinion.  I understand that director Julia Loktev is using body language to get her message across instead of actual words, but that only works for a few minutes at a time in the film.  When the characters actually do speak, they're conjugating Spanish verbs in the past tense and talking about nothing worthwhile.  There's just too much minutiae in The Loneliest Planet.  I could have easily chopped off 40 to 50 minutes of worthless fluff from this one.

Clearly, I have plenty of issues with The Loneliest Planet.  The only positive thing I've noted are the beautiful landscapes in the Caucusus Mountains.  That's all I've got in terms of compliments for the film.  With this in mind, The Loneliest Planet gets a wasted rating.  For this one, I recommend a few Red Headed Sluts.  You’re going to have to knock back quite a few with this one.