I loved the expression of feelings and some of the scenes that felt very slavonic, "- are you a vagabond? - no french! - got documents? ... - welcome to Kazakhstan" The film be electing to say much, steals us from having a deeper understanding. Great idea to have the word merchant that brings new wave meta language reflection. Good description of post Soviet transition: it used to be Zoo and now it is jungle.
Bittersweet tale of a man wandering in the wilderness looking for a way to find peace and closure. He follows a "treasure map" and picks up a couple of companions along the way. A fascinating discovery of character and longing. Delves deep into what makes a person complete. Need and desire and a quest for completion. Even though I'm at odds with the ending a bit, it's a very well made film and extremely well acted.
Variety called this "another tale of a westerner exorcising his demons in exotic Asia with the help of a local babe". They are not far from wrong but I did enjoy this although the supporting characters are far more interesting than the lead, whom by about the 3/4 mark I wanted to slap across the back of the head and scream " wake the fuck up". Luckily the "local babe" does it for me. Spectacular locations.
3.5. Gorgeous cinematography of post-Soviet ruins & landscapes. Beginning had nice Jim Jarmusch feel with strange characters in strange lands. Lead guy too dull though. Never a good sign when my mind starts to imagine alternative tales: "And then a UFO comes and beams him up!" "And then she takes a knife and stabs him for being such a sentimental ass!" I wish the story had been entirely about Ulzhan. She rocked!
A rough four, three seems too low, but four seems too generous. Anyways, a very interesting and quite good film. We're left in the dark a little bit too much, so much so that the reveal is too damp, as we've already pieced everything together. The film also cannot decide whether to embrace the fantasy it pursues or to cling to reality. Decent film full of interesting concepts.
A film with impressive long shots of the open plains and mountains of Central Asia. Charles, Ulzhan, and Shakuni are interesting enough to follow along and have meaningful dialogue. There are some parts of this film that are not as believable as others and there are some mysteries that are not fully revealed. However, overall it is a decent film.
Interesting plot and beautiful landscapes mixed with horryfing and sad places.Too often there are holes in relations or too simple or too much complicated, not much explained in words or acts that justifice next steps, or straight not enough strong storytelling