13

You normally associate lightbulbs with ideas or whatever. Not in this French film helmed by Georgian director Gela Babluani. 13 Tzameti (Tzameti is 13 in Georgian) is about a poor immigrant in France working on the roof of a drug addict’s house. The addict is constantly fainting and looks like he’s gonna die at any time. One day, a friend visits him asking about money. The immigrant, Sebastien, overhears their conversation and learns that his client is expecting a letter to arrive that tells him how to do a job that would make him a lot of money.

Then, the client receives the letter and goes to take a bath but ends up dead due to an overdose. The letter, through some strange twist of fate, ends up in Sebastien’s hands and he decides he’s going to take the client’s place. Things aren’t quite what he thought they would be and he ends up getting deeper and deeper into a dark abyss.

The film is spare and minimal. Shooting in black and white, Babluani really plays up the tension to a hilt. If you like thrillers, this one won’t disappoint. The film title and the nature of the story leads to some obvious conclusions  but it’s still gripping to watch. Definitely an interesting film that does great with the slow reveal.

They’re remaking this in a Hollywood version with the same director who says it will be altered slightly and it’s expected to star Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, 50 Cent, Ray Liotta and Sam Riley (he played Ian Curtis in Control) in the lead role.

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