13 (Tzameti) (15)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarStarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner04/01/2006

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 86 mins

An impressive debut by Georgian film-maker Gela Babluani. This is a beautifully shot, intensely gripping thriller that starts slowly but builds to a terrifically tense climax.

What’s it all about?
Sebastien (George Babluani) is a fresh-faced 20 year old who lives in Paris with his immigrant family and works as a roof repairman to make ends meet. However, he loses both his job and his pay cheque when his morphine-addicted boss, Godon (Phillippe Passon), is found dead in his bath.

When he follows the instructions of a stolen letter he is horrified to discover that he has unwittingly entered a secret underground Russian Roulette tournament where all sorts of unsavoury types are betting on the outcome of a deadly 13-player game.

The Good
Gela Babluani is the son of an acclaimed Georgian film-maker and he’s clearly learned a thing or two about atmosphere and photography from his old man. The film is beautifully shot and there’s very little dialogue, which adds considerably to the tension as the games are played out.

Babluani (the director’s brother) gives an impressive performance and there’s strong support from a gallery of shady-looking character actors.

The Great
The Russian Roulette sequences themselves are genuinely terrifying, at first because, like Sebastien, we’re thrown in at the deep end without any real explanation and then because the stakes keep getting higher and higher. It’s also presented in a deliberately low-key manner, which gives the whole thing a disturbingly realistic feel.

Worth seeing?
In short, 13 is an effective, chilling debut that wrings the maximum possible tension out of its low-budget and marks Babluani out as a talent to watch.

Be the first to review 13 (Tzameti)...
01 Focus (15)

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro

02 Selma (12A)

David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth

03 Far from the Madding Crowd (tbc)

Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge, Matthias Schoenaert...

04 Chappie (tbc)

Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley

05 A Most Violent Year (15)

Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo

Content updated: 21/07/2018 20:35

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Foxcatcher (15)

Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum star in this real life inspired story of Olympic talent, fierce competition and murder.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films