Magazine article Screen International

I Am Beso

Magazine article Screen International

I Am Beso

Article excerpt

Dir/scr: Lasha Tskvitinidze. Georgia. 2014. 89mins

The best way to describe Lasha Tskvitinidze's first feature I Am Beso (Me var Beso) is as a youthful prequel to an as yet non-existent future film about a young man in search of his identity. This debut can't rate as much more than a tentative and excessively self-indulgent exercise, which, had it been edited by anyone else but its director and his producer, would have ended up as a sympathetic, moody short portrait on what it means to grow up in a small, broken down, Georgian town.

The desolate portrait of a town gradually being abandoned by its inhabitants and the human climate prevailing among those who still live ther, is ultimately more interesting than the characters themselves and probably deserved to be explored a bit more.

Beso (Tsotne Barbakadze) is a 14 years old prankster who spends most of his time with his pal Beka (Soso Tarkashvili) roaming around the empty fields, exploring abandoned homes in ruined buildings, and occasionally visiting school as well. Beso would love to become a rapper one day, but at the rate he is working on his hit, it will take him a long time before he gets to make the record that will bring him his first million. Until that happens, the disheveled tandem, Beso and Beka, spend their time bickering with each other, inventing all sorts of harmless mischiefs, clumsily attempting to drag girls and trying to stay away, as much as possible, from a frontal clash with the class bullies who are always on their case.

On top of which, every time he goes home, Beso has to cope with his father, Tamaz (Zaza Salia, the only professional in the cast), a victim of the Chernobyl disaster who sits around doing nothing except complaining, his long-suffering mother, the family's only breadwinner, and a gay brother (Leri Beqauri) who teaches dancing to aspiring young girls. …

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