Oh, there will certainly be blood marked against "The Loneliest Planet" from audiences wanting the perfect getaway of Alex (Gael Garcia Bernal) and Nica (Hani Furstenberg) -- visiting Georgia the summer before getting hitched -- to come attached with more, preferably pulpier strings. Praise Julia Loktev's film all you'd like -- poignant, original, shockingly cognizant -- it's not for everybody. Hold on; I never said worthless. It's tough not to read into this art house wanderlust of pastoral imagery concerning the pain of passage, instinct, and what it means to be human, especially with two actors at the helm who couldn't be more open and engaged. Sleepy but never bored, one could call "The Loneliest Planet"; alive with the kind of kick you get from dreams where the water's too cold or distant mountain too high. But something's definitely up.
What gives the second half of this movie its honesty, darkness and gritty charm is a moment-long hot flash that seems like forever, because it's the first time Alex and Nica shot together has a joint feeling of watching two naked people scared and alone left to their own devices. It's some of the most quietly devastating film 2012 can shake a stick at, in a beautifully realized work that should be noted and appreciated both for its narrative invention and reflection on the difficulty of relationships. "The Loneliest Planet" brims dizzily with idea and understanding -- unforgettable, irreversible, and that haunts like no other.