Film Review: The Loneliest Planet

The Loneliest Planet, Julia Loktev’s new art film rich in breathtaking landscapes, explores a young couple’s journey through the Caucasus Mountains.

The Loneliest Planet

The Loneliest Planet (in theaters on Aug. 24, 2012; IFC Films)

PHOTO COURTESY OF SUNDANCE SELECTS

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An innocent hiking adventure for two young lovers in the Caucasus Mountains turns into a subtle, seething battle of the sexes in Julia Loktev’s exquisite new art film. Mexican heartthrob Gael Garcia Bernal and startling redheaded Israeli actress Hani Furstenberg play the paramours who hire a Georgian guide to take them climbing across the precipitous terrain.

Punctuated by beautiful landscape shots and intimate interludes, the film hinges on a brief, tumultuous (and ever-so-slightly comical) turning point that irrevocably shifts the dynamics among the three characters. A complex tale of love, disenchantment, and gender roles, The Loneliest Planet makes for existential and alluring viewing.