Directed by Tamar Shavgulidze
Distributed by TBA
Written by Michael Clawson
Shot mostly in static long takes that don’t hold much sway, what loveliness there is in the Georgian drama “Comets” is minimized by chemistry that feels forced. The story centers on Irina and Nana (Nino Kasradze and Ketevan Gegeshidze, respectively), two women who, after years apart, reconnect and spend a languid day looking back on the quiet, tender love they shared in their youth before life took them down different roads. The bitter taste of regret and the ache of unfaded desire percolate as the women reminisce and reflect on who they have become, sentiments exchanged over the course of a warm afternoon separated by loaded silences and charged glances. What doesn’t work is the stiffness in Tamar Shavgulidze’s direction: the tension that Irina and Nana carry as they experience each other’s presence again rings false, and the sober mood brought by Shavgulidze’s unadorned shooting style is more ponderous than alluring. Where the movie finds some success is in its flashbacks to Irina and Nana’s time together as young girls tentatively attracted to one another. While Nana and Irina’s younger selves are less than fully realized, a dreaminess suffuses vignettes that play as fragmented memories: scenes of the girls listening to the radio on a sunny day, or watching a movie together on a projector outside at night, benefit from being only vaguely contextualized. A surreal narrative shift that occurs in the film’s final stretch is so jarring and unexpected it might turn some off the movie completely; for others, it might be a welcome jolt.
“Comets” is streaming on Mubi.
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