The internal and external confrontations, wars, conflicts, pandemics, social problems, destructive processes in the world that have existed in Georgia for years affect the formation of the mental thinking, lifestyle and form of the modern society. The feeling of walking in a vicious circle, of not being able to get out of the situation, caused the internal constitution of the modern man to break, which ultimately led to the change of the existing moral codes. The world has focused on the personal needs of the "I," it has become somewhat closed, one might say, it has become more aggressive, and, ultimately, it has become a society where it is already difficult to find completely
mentally healthy people
Levan Tutberidze's film, "The Resting Samurai" (2022) tells about this very environment. The broken, devalued family institution, which is a kind of micromodel of the XXI century society, shows its real image: immoral, perverted, psychopathic. The main story of the film revolves around three people (old friends). First one is Nika, the head of the family, the second is the lover of Nika's wife, and the third is Zaza, who returned to his homeland to rob Nika. The story unfolds on one tragic day, the day when everyone dies (some physically, some morally).
Beneath the false relationships of the family members and close friends, there are lonely, empty, alienated individuals who go with the flow until an old, long-lost friend appears in their lives like a ghost from the past. With the appearance of this hero, at a certain stage, the audience begins to expect and hope that their relationships will change at least a little along with childhood memories but in vain. The director assigns the function of the killer to this hero. In the final scene, when Zaza's kills his friend, the routine of the society living with double standards goes back to its flow. The director leaves no hope of changing anything here. Nika's son, who seems to exist outside of this story, in another dimension, also escapes from this destructive environment.
Levan Tutberidze constructs the plot according to the following principle: two, at a glance, independent adventures develop at the same time, which unite in certain episodes, but soon break up and return to their plot line. This principle of narrative construction was used by the same filmmaker in his previous film, "I'll Die Without You," but, unlike it, in this film it develops more organically, dynamically and logically closes in the finale. It should also be noted here that "I'll Die Without You" was based on Aka Morchiladze’s story, "The Dogs of Paliashvili Street," and this time the same writer appears as the co-author of the script. If we look at Levan Tutberidze’s works, it turns out that this form of constructing the story structure is more characteristic of Aka Morchiladze than of the film director.
Parallel to the main story line, the story of a half-mad "samurai" (Nika's lover's family), a war-ravaged, traumatized warrior, who is in a constant "battle" between his own imagination and reality, still hidden under the terrifying impressions of a "samurai" mask, fights imaginary enemies like a noble Don Quixote and in the mentioned war, in the end, he kills the person most dear to him, as a soldier, Woyzeck. In the final scene of the film, the samurai follows the train line, anticipating the battle ahead, sits down tiredly by a trash can, and repeats the pose of a miniature samurai statue. For a modern man, one of these two samurai is valuable for its antiquity and the prospect of bringing material prosperity, while the other is profane.
Despite the fact that the film is interesting with the tempo-rhythm of the narration, the acting ensemble, the expressive structure, there is still a tendency to create an outline of the problem in certain episodes. For example, it is unclear why the introduction of a character with a different sexual orientation was a necessity in the story. This theme is limited to only a couple of small episodes and is so superficial that it can easily be understood as another indicator of the general moral degradation of society. Additionally, unclear is the motivation of the lover of Nika's wife to discourage Zaza from robbing Nika's house. This attempt costs him his life. It is at this moment that the question arises: what prompted him to take this step? When and why does the conscience awaken in him?
All in all, many important points are made in this film in relation to modern existence but these problems are not deeply understood, addressed and do not leave the audience with the opportunity to generalize and think.

Maya Levanidze,
PHD in Art Criticism (Film Studies),
Associate Professor

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