May 24, 2022
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“What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?” It’s title and higher query and, very similar to the film connected to it, the reply simply spirals off in several instructions. We look at the sky itself, in fact, the darkish and lightweight clouds. We look at rainbows and lightning, smog and smoke, tall bushes and taller buildings, hovering birds and buzzing bugs, although in apply we don’t typically really look at the world, which implies we don’t see it or its on a regular basis wonders, terrors and adventures — which is to this film’s level.

Pleasing, exasperating, poignant and coy, “What Do We See” is a free, exceedingly leisurely meander by way of a sequence of momentous and banal moments that happen throughout an amble by way of the Georgian metropolis of Kutaisi. It’s a romantic story of two bewitched folks, although the filmmaker Alexandre Koberidze is way extra inquisitive about the small dramas regularly unfolding in the completely extraordinary world round them — generally good in its very ordinariness. He’s inquisitive about kids enjoying in the park, canine jauntily sauntering in the streets, a restaurant proprietor hustling for higher enterprise — all the stuff that almost all motion pictures use as mortar to carry the narrative blocks collectively.

Quickly after “What Do We See” begins, it appears to be settling into storytelling gear with an unusually staged and framed encounter. The assembly begins with a tiny chicken, a sparrow maybe, flying into an in any other case empty shot of a sidewalk. The chicken picks up a twig and simply because it flies out of the shot, two strangers, Lisa (Oliko Barbakadze) and Giorgi (Giorgi Ambroladze), enter the body from reverse instructions, by accident bumping into one another. She drops her e book, he picks it up. They trade apologies and proceed strolling, although in the mistaken path. They flip round and bump up once more. The e book drops, they go in the mistaken path, course appropriate and exit to go about their day.

Lisa is sporting purple pants and Mary Jane flats with out socks; he’s sporting brown pants and lace-up footwear with socks. this as a result of all through this amusingly, exactly choreographed encounter, the digital camera stays fastened on the decrease a part of their our bodies, slicing off simply above their knees. You wish to search for however can’t, and solely see their faces once they’ve gone off of their separate lives, the place she works as a pharmacist and he appears to be knowledgeable soccer participant. Later that night time, they run into one another once more, although it’s onerous to inform as a result of the digital camera is now at an incredible distance. This time, they make a date to fulfill at a restaurant, a promise they involuntarily don’t maintain.

That’s the story although this scarcely describes the film, which quickly folds in a dollop of magical realism that finds the characters remodeled into two different-looking folks and now embodied by different actors, with Lisa 2 performed by Ani Karseladze and Giorgi 2 by Giorgi Bochorishvili. This metamorphosis places a kibosh on their date (they will’t acknowledge one another) and creates different issues as a result of neither can keep in mind the right way to do their jobs. But as his characters grapple with their new identities, Koberidze (who additionally narrates) retains spinning off right here and there to look at, and speak about, nicely, all the things else, if principally romping kids, wandering canine and much and many soccer.

The cumulative charms of those narrative byways fade as Koberidze’s meandering extends to 2 and a half hours, although the finish part is wonderful and there’s a lot to understand a few film that reminds you that at instances the finest elements of a shaggy-dog story are the ostensibly pointless ones.

“What Do We See” is a reasonably apparent labyrinth (you gained’t get misplaced), however in demanding a lot of your time it asks you to think about what we see once we watch the sky — or a movie. Most motion pictures seize your consideration with noise and nonsense however quickly fade. Against this, although I muttered about Koberidze’s pokiness whereas watching, I couldn’t cease fascinated by the film afterward. I railed towards it (in my head) and saved railing and, after some time, realized, nicely, I actually did prefer it, in spite of everything.

What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?
Not rated. In Georgian, with subtitles. Working time: 2 hours half-hour. In theaters.

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