Tangerines (or) Mandariinid (Estonian, 2013)

Ivo, an old Estonian farmer, has stayed back in Gerogia along with his friend, Margus to harvest the abundant Tangerines. His bleak life is turned upside down when he decides to shelter Ahmed, a Muslim Chechen mercenary and a Georgian, Niko, both having lost their men & injured heavily from combat. It does not help matters that the pair are constantly waiting to pounce back at each other once their respective health permits.
Language:
Estonian
Running Time:
87 min
Rating:
Release date:
17 October 2013
Directed by:
Zaza Urushadze
Produced by:
Zaza Urushadze
Ivo Felt
Written by:
Zaza Urushadze
Based on:
Starring:
Lembit Ulfsak
Elmo Nüganen
Mikheil Meskhi
Giorgi Nakashidze
Raivo Trass
Music by:
Niaz Diasamidze
Shot by:
Rein Kotov
Edited by:
Alexander Kuranov
Distributed by:
Allfilm
Cinema 24
Samuel Goldwyn Films

What’s Hot

  • If there ever was an award for achievement in casting, this film would win it hands down this year for the actors (just about 4 primary characters) are so apt for the roles. Be it the old Estonian, the younger Estonian, the Chechen Muslim mercenary or the Georgian stage actor, they all seem to be just living their lives oblivious of a camera capturing their activities.
  • While Margus has the least screen time but still scores with his timidity, Ivo majestically occupies the bulk of the running time. The way he introduces the two wounded soldiers, “Okay enemies.He is Ahmed and he is Nika”, the way he tastefully imitates Ahmed’s clap and the way he modulates his voice as per the situation are testimony to his talent.
  • The two soldiers, Giorgi Nakhashidze as Ahmed & Michael Meshki as Niko, impress in their given space. The scene in which they meet after partially recovering which ends up in the sudden throwing of the coffee cup is elevated by the wonderfully acting. The tension in the air in many such scenes is certainly palpable.
  • When two extremely men temporarily incapacitated due to war belonging to opposite sides are forced to live under the same roof under an assertive old farmer, one can imagine the kind of tension that would prevail. However what is more surprising is the way Zaza Urushadze’s writing brings about subtle conversations that grow into verbal jousts and finally escalate to them almost coming to blows with Ivo (LembitUlfsak) restraining them just in time.
  • The music in the film is very minimal and kudos to the composer, Niaz Diasamidze for abiding to the director’s vision as the script did not require any more music. But his one theme that is used repeatedly does a wonderful job of summarizing the feeling that the movie wants to convey. Class Act indeed!

What’s Not

  • The film is extremely short at just 86 odd minutes and the abrupt ending leaves us wanting more. In spite of the shortness, there are occasions, before the two soldiers take shelter in Ivo’s home,that test the patience a wee bit.

Badges

Verdict

Verdict Stamp

Tangerines is a well-written anti-war drama raising a voice for humanity. It delivers the message with minimum fuss through underplayed performances but possesses many heart-touching moments.

2018-05-26T19:25:20+00:00 2015|Other Languages|0 Comments