Any social drama, based on the artistic interpretation of facts that have lost its function and undermine human dignity, can very easily turn into a tragedy - such is the special way of dealing with reality dictated by modern life and remained yet from the era of Italian neorealism, which invariably gives the cinema the opportunity to reach a tragic end. This ability of social drama is noteworthy as the latter has changed many times the range of attitudes towards values, and is one of the most important genre and artistic forms today, which can even see shocking reality from its dangerous, internal, unexpected side and present it to us.
The director, who has quite a large, significant stock of social motives and realistic vision, has always created, and so does today, films with different themes despite this ability to freely act within the framework of social drama. Dito Tsintsadze, with his feature film "On the Borderline" back in 1992, created a realistic and, at the same time, maximally generalized, psychologically detailed artistic space of the familiar socio-political reality, where everything that was related to the reality of the modern or recent past was created on a spatial and temporal scale and did not fit the framework of a single social drama.
Even according to the strictest requirements of social drama, in Dito Tsintsadze's film, "Inhale-Exhale" (2019), the environment, which is so familiar and very articulate, cannot seem more exaggerated. The details of life in the provincial town, which describe everything from the narrow corridors of the buildings built during the Soviet era to the unkempt bathrooms, really tell us a lot. The surrounding walls created by this environment are much stronger than it might seem at a glance. Every entrance and exit from these walls is more like entering and exiting a prison that you unconsciously, unwittingly recognize as your home, rather than even the most trivial everyday life.
What each of us thinks about the reality that is offered to us depends on the audience's social and political as well as moral vision - the false icons of freedom from the modern world in the film's plot, which in fact still respond to the primitive, indifferent interests of the modern world. This motif cannot be perceived uniformly, and it will irritate a part of the audience, even because its image (of this world) is presented in the film with yoga relaxation courses, mannered performances and a sparse dramatic vision, so the object of criticism is not this position (which, by the way, is not out of place and interesting enough) rather, it is a half-mannered image of this destructive model of indifference, superficiality.
A young woman, who served a sentence in prison because of her husband and her lifestyle from the bottom of society, returns to her disintegrated, non-existent life, limited by aggressive remarks, returns to her mother-in-law (Darejan Kharshiladze), who lives the lives of several people, her drug-addicted husband (Giorgi Nakashidze) and children who are already lost in their adolescence. Here, in this world, everything is familiar and aggressive: even the "help" from an alien environment (like the New Year's monotonously sung English song, the only familiar motif associated with the New Year for a little boy), as well as the violent push for "self-discovery" for the innocent transgender hero, which brings tragedy.
Breathe out the past or breathe in what they "recommend" you with such aggression and don't breathe it out again - this is what Salome Demuria's hero sees in the world she encountered. A world in a dark, bad and empty house, where a whole system of incomprehensible accountability lives: in a colorless bedroom, the husband suffers from the discomfort of his own stomach as usual, talking out loud, the mother-in-law, like a teenager in an existential crisis, scolds herself, the teenage son blames his mother for all his misfortunes, and so on. Endlessly...
All episodes of the film are filled with this depressing, pale blue cold tones, as well as the night world, which will be illuminated by the miners' lamps in the early morning and will open the way for the woman who escaped from this existence, from the terrible army of "saviors." Not to a happy future, but to an incomprehensible direction. The main thing is far. After all, this is also an illusion.
If not, the emphatic mannerisms of transgender and people-saving organizations of different, non-traditional lifestyles - overly warm and postural behavior, overly and unnaturally slow pauses, overly emphasized lifeless and indifferent character, who also conducts yoga classes "on behalf" of an international organization - then this motif on the contrary, it would be much more important in such a complex, multi-topical context.
It is a fact that these "softened" stealthy forms of modern aggression are very interesting, even in the direction of cinematic realism. Especially since it is not an easy task to place it in a social drama - a modern social phenomenon. The heroes of Giorgi Nakashidze, Salome Demuria and Darejan Kharshiladze create outstanding characters in front of this reality and social reality - burdened and tragic, however, unlike the already mentioned heroes, intensely realistic, since the characterization of their existence is very rich, with a little random display: the nature of emotions is fast, increasing and alternating. Even the intonation, which is very characteristic in the case of Giorgi Nakashidze, does not go beyond the framework of naturalness. Even when showing aggression, these characters create a picture with a logical presence, which, unfortunately, is the complete opposite of what, as already mentioned, the characters from "another world" show us with a simple and superficial manner.
The world is changing. There is nothing constant in it except human impatience and devotion. One is painful, and the other is if you don't talk about it in time, if you don't draw something that shows better on the screen, both fake and real. The characteristic of social drama also takes this into account, and if "Inhale-Exhale" is a film focused on accents, then its thematic and dramaturgical area is really interesting, even considering the negative details expressed about certain artistic reality.