Alex and Nica are young lovers who are engaged to be married. The summer before the young couple goes backpacking in the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia. They hire a local tour guide to lead them on a camping trek but their whole relationship threatens to be derailed after a single mistake occurs on their trip. Julia Loktev's The Loneliest Planet is an incredibly subtle, nuanced piece of filmmaking that could best be described as a relationship drama. Early on the film really establishes our two main protagonists, showing the love which the two share. They are just happy to share each others experiences and seem truly at piece. It's a film that is best to go into rather blindly but there is an instinctual decision which occurs approximately halfway through the film in which the entire dynamic of their relationship is altered. Loktev understands the power of image with The Loneliest Planet being rather minimalistic in dialogue, focusing more on the performances and visual staging to relay the mood of the film. There is no leading dialogue but the subtle way the characters act after this incident shows how they may be questioning their love. I was quite fond of Loktev's decision to have no subtitles whatsoever, so when this English-speaking couple interacts with foreigners the viewer is forced completely into their point-of-view. The first thing that jumped out at me visually was Loktev's use of depth of field. The depth of the image throughout The Loneliest Planet is fantastic, making for rich framing that also is used to relay the characters emotional state during certain sequences. Loktev uses a nice mix of techniques from wide angles to close ups, tracking to static shots to help tell her story visually. It's also worth mentioning that the setting itself is gorgeous and the film definitely captures the vastness and beauty of nature. The Loneliest Planet is a fascinating character study about the fragility of relationships and while its subject matter doesn't give it the opportunity to be as emotionally resonant as Loktev's masterpiece Day Night Day Night, it's still a fantastic follow-up.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.