13 (tzameti)

This allegorical thriller has already inspired plans for an English-language remake, perhaps because the story, for all its seeming novelty, is comfortably shopworn. A Georgian laborer in a French coastal town learns that his elderly neighbor plans to earn a fortune through some obscure agreement. After the neighbor dies of an overdose, the Georgian intercepts a letter meant for the deceased, and its instructions lead him to a Parisian gambling den where the patrons wager on elaborate games of Russian roulette. Shot in black-and-white ‘Scope, this first feature by Georgian writer-director Gela Babluani is mechanical in both its suspense and its pessimism. In French and Georgian with subtitles. 86 min. (JR)

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