The Loneliest Planet | Chicago Reader

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113 minutes · 2012

For the arresting debut drama Day Night Day Night (2006), filmmaker Julia Loktev patiently trailed a young woman around Manhattan as she prepared to detonate a suicide bomb in Times Square; this second feature is pretty much the same, but without the bomb. Hani Furstenberg and Gael Garcia Bernal star as a playful, lovey-dovey couple hiking around the Caucasus Mountains with a grizzled Georgian guide, and the first half of the movie is so uneventful that it smacks of art-house self-indulgence. Loktev bisects the story with a frightening encounter that radically alters the emotional dynamic between the lovers and raises the tension enough to sustain more silent marching across picturesque terrain. I can't deny that her scheme is dramatically effective, though I left the movie more conscious of the scheme than the drama.

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