I was duped into thinking that “The Loneliest Planet” was going to have some redeeming value. After all, it had banners from 4 different film festivals including the NY film festival, so how bad could it be? First let me say that I normally LOVE foreign films, even ones that other people find confounding, so I would not be what you call a ‘mainstream’ movie lover, although James Bond films rock my world, but I digress.
My boyfriend and I watched the trailer, and it showed gorgeous mountain scenery and a couple hiking. Ok, so I’m not dying to watch it yet, but nothing grisly (which I don’t like) so I’m game and he’s too nice to say no. We commence to watching said movie, and the entire time all that happened was this couple hiking…seriously. No plot, no action, ok, one measly sex scene and some local dudes with guns, but other than that, zippo.
So after about an hour (really filmmaker, what WERE you thinking?) they hook up with this guide (sleazy scherpa) who leads them deeper into the mountains (the Caucasus mountains in Georgia, but who really cares at this point) and one night, he gets them (well, her mostly) drunk on some kind of local hooch. He (the hapless boyfriend) goes to bed (in the tent. Oh, there are numerous riveting scenes of them pitching and taking down tents. Woo hoo!) and the sleazy scherpa dude and the chick make out (EW!! What was SHE thinking?) and then she goes to bed and the boyfriend comes on to her and she then proceeds to throw up (a bunch). The next morning is clearly awkward for everyone, and then the movie just ends when they’re in another (riveting) scene of tent pitching.
I would have left the movie theater except we were watching it at home. You never know why they are hiking, where they are going, and what, if any, connection they have to the area. The girlfriend is trying to learn the language from the boyfriend throughout the movie (another riveting scene, just kidding) so my hunch was that he had some connection to the area but we never know, and I can’t say I really care. The movie did not allow us to connect with the characters at all.
The only mildly redeeming quality in the movie was the actress Hani Furstenberg, who plays the girlfriend. She is a redhead, and although not beautiful by any means, her looks are captivating and her vulnerability is palpable.
Although there is a lot of psychological tension in the movie, nothing is resolved or revealed, leaving the moviegoer carrying all the baggage at the end…ugh.