“What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?,” John Lennon and Paul McCartney ask their creation Billy Shears (incarnated by Ringo Starr) within the tune “A Little Assist With My Buddies.” “I can’t let you know however I do know it’s mine,” Shears/Starr responds. The title of a brand new movie from Georgia, “What Do We See When We Look At The Sky?” is talking in an identical model. It’s not a query looking for a goal, scientific reply, but an emotional one.
Set and shot in Kutaisi, certainly one of Georgia’s oldest cities, “What Do We See,” written and directed by Aleksandre Koberidze, opens on a scene of youngsters getting out of college. Typically they’re by themselves, typically greeted by a grownup; there are numerous puffy jackets, scooters, and stray canines about. We then see two pairs of footwear strolling towards, away from, and again towards one another, as if attracted by magnetism. These are our heroes, Lisa and Giorgi. The 2 meet once more, unintentionally, after darkish, and trusting within the beneficence of destiny, they make an actual date for the following evening.
However, destiny has different plans. A gaggle of road-intersection objects—particularly, a seedling planted on a visitors island, a safety digital camera, and a drainage pipe—inform Lisa that her plans is not going to unfold as she believes they’ll. In a single day, she shall be reworked bodily. So will Giorgi. They won’t acknowledge one another and won’t meet. The wind tries to intervene with some essential information however is blocked.
This appears like a chunk of lore transferred from the previous to the current; I used to be reminded briefly of Michael Almereyda’s brief diversifications of Italo Calvino’s “Italian People Tales,” particularly “The North Wind’s Present.” However, Koberidze’s film isn’t fairly a fable or a parable, largely as a result of it takes a great distance in attending to its conclusion.
This often stunning film has a measured fashion. Its photographs, a few of them hanging compositions and different intentionally much less so, are held lengthy sufficient for them to breathe, so to talk. There’s not a lot in the best way of narrative momentum, which can make some who got here for the magical realism really feel cheated. This can be a movie that wants the viewer’s give up.
To not say that nothing occurs. Along with altering they appear to be like, Destiny, within the type of what Lisa is instructed is a curse, additionally modifications their skills. Giorgi can not play soccer however stays obsessive about the sport. As soon as-diligent med scholar Lisa can’t retain what she’s realized in her programs and has to ditch her job in the pharmacy. She winds up hawking ice cream, he begins working with a hang-from-a-bar-contest entrepreneur, and at one level, the 2 are stationed yards aside, catty-corner from one another close to a footbridge.
Regardless of their preliminary love, at first sight, they don’t acknowledge one another. Shouldn’t real love transcend appearances, although? In the event that they’re actually soulmates, proper? Or has the curse modified their souls, as properly? Koberidze, who additionally narrates the film, admits on the finish that he has no solutions. Not solely to questions on his narrative, however about why he’s making movies in any respect within the face of the brutality on the earth and the powerlessness of abnormal individuals to stop it. He by no means comes out and says it, however as soon as the narrative resolves—and it resolves as Koberidze says a sure soccer match associated within the film resolves, in that “all the pieces occurred the best way it needed to occur”—we would conclude that love might be a part of the reply.
In the meantime, this film means to make us discover the marvelous within the on a regular basis, in a lot the best way that an important James Schuyler poem does. By gently underscoring usually neglected particulars, and privileging issues we have a tendency, out of behavior, to not discover. There are numerous stray canines in this film, however, we see them otherwise after we’re instructed that certainly one of them has a favorite soccer group.