’13 Tzameti’ (2005)

‘13 Tzameti’(2005) The first rule of ’13 Tzameti’ is that you do not talk about ’13 Tzameti’.

The second rule is that you do not watch any previews for ’13 Tzameti’.

The third rule of ’13 Tzameti’ is that you should not read any reviews of ’13 Tzameti’ before sitting down to see the film.

The 4th rule of ’13 Tzameti’ is that you ought to just sit down and watch the film without any preconceptions or expectations, even though I’ve just done that.

If this sounds like the rules laid down for another well-known movie based on a book by Chuck Palahniuk you’d be entirely correct. And not.

I read a summary of ’13 Tzameti’ somewhere on the interweb and the description of the film sounded like many others I’d seen, up to and including one of those big , existential ’70′s Art-house movies made by an European director, with an American star. But to pigeon-hole movies like this tends only to do a disservice to the movie you’re trying to anticipate.

With the idea of the another film firmly in my head, I sat down to watch ’13 Tzameti’ and found myself initially disliking it because it wasn’t in color, thecinamatography seemed a little unprofessional, the editing a little haphazard – until I reached the halfway point, when the movie turned out to be an entirely different kind of film than the one I thought I was going to see.

What you need to know about ’13 Tzameti’ is that its a film about an ex-pat from a poor part of Europe, ex-Soviet Georgia, who has washed-up in France to to do the only work that an unskilled, uneducated young man might be capable of doing. These sorts of people are hungry for whatever opportunities might come their way, and such a rabbit-hole opens up for our young protagonist Sébastien. That’s all you need to know about ’13 Tzameti’ before you go see it. Your lack of prior knowledge will only benefit you.

There is talk if ’13 Tzameti’ being remade for American audiences as ‘ 13 ‘. I think this is a mistake. Unless the writers and director can re-create the 3rd-World-in-the-1st-World conditions that allows ’13 Tzameti’ to work so well, the American redux will be a failure – or even worse a pale shadow of itself as an Eli Roth-style splattercore movie.

But I’ve already said too much. See it yourself and be surprised, if not horrified. People with delicate sensibilities should consider themselves warned.

And skip any and all trailers for the film. You’ll thank me later.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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