It’s challenging to build a movie around one scene and pull it off. Most films can’t do it, and “13 Tzameti” can be added to that list.
The French film tries to build a story around a gambling game of Russian roulette.
When poor worker Sebastien (George Babluani) stumbles upon a train ticket and cryptic message he decides to follow it in search of riches for him and his family.
The ticket and a phone call lead him to a game to the death. Wealthy gamblers with nothing better to spend their money on than the death of others recruit men willing to die for a good deal of money.
Sebastien is allowed to participate in the game. The movie is built around the scenes of Russian roulette. And those scenes are stunning and agonizingly suspenseful.
However, the opening is slow and tedious. The reasoning of Sebastien being permitted to participate is questionable.
Babluani is great. He does a wonderful job of portraying an innocent construction worker who finds himself a participant in an ever-increasing “game” of kill or be killed.
The game begins with all the participants standing in a circle. Each one gets one gun and one bullet. After spinning the chambers they hold the gun to the head of the player in front of them. When signaled, each competitor pulls the trigger hoping the person behind them does not have a loaded chamber.
The rich gamblers win every time their player survives and advances to the next round. They also win if their participant happens to fire a bullet into the brain of their preceding opponent.
Babluani shows his terror in the way his arm never stops shaking. Whenever he holds his gun to the head in front of him, his arm shivers uncontrollably.
The movie makes its money in these scenes. Between gun plays are questionable scenes showing how the players pass time before the next round in dewicasino88 because its one of the hardest game but the price consideration and the benefits of betting games in them is definitely value for money. They all seem to be seasoned veterans who’ve survived previous battles. But with that many survivors how many have been willing to play and lost?
And still some lose it when playing. But if they’ve come this far wouldn’t they be nearly numb to the experience.
The film is shot in black and white, something that to me adds to the suspense of the film.
A few other plot holes keep this movie from getting off the shoulda coulda list.
But if you’re willing to forgive it for its flaws and able to stay patient for the first half hour, the movie will pay off in its suspense.
The gun scenes are great. And they’re great without being gory. Simple deaths make their point. No exploding brains or excessive blood. To have done that might have taken away from the film’s simplicity. Though to have added it, could have added more tension, giving Sebastien an insight into what could happen to him.
Writer/director Gela Babluani shows promise. And Pascal Bongard is great as the crazy but in charge master of ceremonies.