I’d heard a lot about the suspense thriller 13 Tzameti because of its sheer onscreen tension and emotion as a deadly gambling game for life-or-death that takes its toll on one after the other. Gela Babluani, a Georgian filmmaker, collaborates with his younger brother Georges Babluani, who plays the protagonist Sebastien, to create one of the best French suspense thrillers.
The director wanted the film to have the look of 1960s crime thrillers, so it was shot in black and white. However, in his first attempt, Babluani was certain that creating a thriller would be pointless unless he had a strong storyline.
The plot is straightforward: Sebastien (George Babluani), a 22-year-old housing roofer, comes across a letter that appears to him as a way to make a lot of money quickly. The original recipient of the letter, Godon, dies of an overdose, and Sebastien decides to take Godon’s place and apply for the mysterious job, which eventually leads him into a deadly game of life and death.
The deadly game of life and death, in which criminals bet on the lives of players willing to put their luck to the test by keeping guns over each other’s heads in a circle, turns dark and dangerous. Despite the fact that Sebastien’s true identity was revealed once he arrived at a strange location in the French countryside, he was forced to play the game.
13 people must compete for the luck of being the last to survive for that large sum of money. 13 Tzameti keeps you guessing until the very end. This film about an unusual gambling game will capture your attention with its sheer tension and suspense.
Nonetheless, most of us would agree that 13 Tzameti could have been much better if the director had paid more attention to the acting or characterization. The best part of the film, however, is that even if you as an audience feel less connected or involved with the character, it still entices you to watch until the end, not just to find out what happens to the main character, but also to find out how the story ends. And the story concludes beautifully.
Movie: 13 Tzameti
Genre: Suspense, Thriller
Writer and Director: Gela Babluani
Starring: George Babluani, Aurelien Recoing, Philippe Passon, Pascal Bongard, Vania Villiers
Release Date: February 8, 2006 (France)
Languages: French, Georgian