Young director Ioseb (Soso) Bliadze's full-length film "A Room of my Own"" (2022) has received the most attention among recent films. The idea which the work conveys is clear and understandable - a young woman is in the process of searching for herself as well as life's surprises, thus, many problems that exist in the life of a modern Georgian.
The positive and important details of the film have been noted and evaluated both in Georgia and internationally but there are a number of questions raised by the specific details of the film. A number of dramaturgical flaws are noticeable, which are caused by the abundance of topics, short time and lack of attention.
Going chronologically, the first step towards an independent life leads the main character, Tina to Maggie with whom she has to live for the next few months. The first half of the film shows many variations of the further development. It is a fact that something must happen between these two girls but the main thing here is various environmental factors that make Tina's messy life even more confusing.
The director slowly, step by step, brings to light the material, spiritual and mental problems of everyday life. He unfolds all the details of the main character's life in front of us, spends time on various problems, but does not offer us a way to solve them. Moreover, many parallels and mini-stories of the movie do not find development and remain without conclusions and points. As if to fill the empty time, this or that story line was created in the film, but this free time turned out to be too short.
At the beginning of the film, Bliadze tries to prolong the time and delays the disclosure of the main story as much as possible. With this decision, the short time is even more reduced, which makes the director’s task to review different topics in a short time more difficult. The main tragedy of Tina's life is revealed in the middle of the film, when we learn that she cheated on her husband with his friend, as a result of which the events developed according to the chain principle -her husband’s physical punishment, a complaint to the police, the decision to live with her lover, Maggie's house, which turned out to be a savior in this transitional period, etc.
The chaos in Tina's life leaves the impression that the director filled his main character with all the problems that women in Georgia, and not only in Georgia, suffer from for more drama. With the main character’s chaotic life, Soso Bliadze seems to be telling us: look, observe, this is how a woman, who must always be a good wife, looks in a patriarchal world. Her duty is to be restrained, calm, charming. In a capitalist environment, a woman has no right to be bad, she should not be exposed to disappointments, tragedies, bad moods. However, the understanding of the patriarchal world in the film is placard, it is only an idea, we do not see the physical material of this passage in the film.
107 minutes is too short time to fully understand all the problems that Bliadze included in the film: domestic violence, conflict between parents and children, betrayal, social difficulties, the process of finding one's orientation, the fabulous dream of going to America, the Covid pandemic, etc. We are watching a film in which many important themes are intertwined, which makes it difficult to search for the main messages.
The director does not take a clear position towards the problems he deals with in the film. We might think that this is the idea - to allow the viewer to make their own decisions and draw conclusions. It is also likely that Bliadze wanted to separate the film from his personal, subjective attitude and create a work that stands alone, separated from the director. This may explain his vague position on women's violence, rape, unstable economic environment, but the director does not state the above-mentioned opinion in any public discourse or interview.
One of the key scenes, where Maggie and Tina have an expected sexual act, is aesthetically pleasing at a glance, but its content is ambiguous. This part can be interpreted as a rape scene where Tina is raped by her roommate Maggie while she is not sober. The preparation for this situation begins a few scenes earlier, where Tina smokes marijuana for the first time, which has a negative effect on her and makes her feel inadequate. Maggie's attempt to help soon escalates into the act of raping Tina. The significance of this episode is not fully understood by the director, because we do not see any development in the next part of the film. It is not clear to the audience that any of the characters still meet and realize the "mistake" they made while being sober. Bliadze wraps up this section and provides the audience with the culmination of the reincarnation of the main character. Tina turns from a shy, complex, traumatized girl into a woman, finds herself and the life she wants. There is no other interpretation of this passage in the film.
Tina's attitude towards various issues also raises questions. Throughout the film, the main female character is "on stage," but not once are her thoughts and attitudes presented. Traumas, complexes and an attempt to adapt to a new environment at the age of twenty-four are the main leitmotif of the film, but even in the background of all this, the audience knows nothing about Tina, except for the news around which the film is built. Therefore, not only the position of the director is a little unclear, but also the "thoughts" of Tina's character are unclear. In order for the character to be perfectly perceived in the cinema, the director and screenwriter need to give it an identity. Only dramatic life of the character does not arouse empathy in the audience.
The attitude towards the queer community is also unclear. There is only one scene in the film, Tina and Maggie's sexual intercourse, where the queer theme cuts into the main story. Here again, another question arises, if the film is considered a queer film, it is completely feasible that we should see a deeper, more meaningful development towards this theme. In no section of the work can we encounter the development, unfolding and discussion of the queer theme. This plot line only serves to explore the main character's identity. Tina searches for herself and in the process unknowingly forms a physical connection with Maggie. Therefore, reporting “My Room” as a queer film is ambiguous.
In the content, there is a plot line of unemployment, which, compared to other details, is given more time. Tina is unemployed, Maggie goes to America to work but even when the characters' dialogue is about work, Tina forms mutually exclusive opinions. In parallel with all this, Maggie, who longs to escape from Georgia, is actively engaged in online work. Here again comes the idea that the director decided to create characters full of problems.
In the end, the plot ambiguity and completely unclear orientations cannot raise the film to a high artistic value. The more we look at the details, the more errors come to the surface, the more questions arise that cannot be answered in this work.