Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry: Review

Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry: Review

Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry: Review. By Simon Lalji.

From the world of Georgian independent cinema comes Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry as well as the future star and possible awards contender Eka Chavleishvili leading as Etero. Eka Chavleishvili delivers one of the most subtle, somber and powerful performances in film as Etero, an aggressively independent woman who never takes no for an answer but when she unexpectedly finds love her view on life may just be changed forever. Chavleishvili delivers a performance similar to that of Frances MCdormand’s Oscar hit Nomadland in that it’s one of the most subtle, natural yet beautiful performances put on film with an almost documentary style quality to it.

The central character of Etero presents an extremely difficult one for any actor to pull off as she rarely speaks and barely expresses any personality traits with director Elene Naveriani often leaving it simply up to Chavleishvili’s facial expressions to express everything that the viewer needs to know. Thankfully, Chavleishvili showed up for the task as she is single handedly the force that drives the film forwards. Though Etero begins as a character who is quite simply boring, unlikable and monotone, Chavleishvili evolves Etero into a powerful character who by the time the credits roll the viewer will truly care for in unexpected ways.



With this being said, unfortunately one incredible actress cannot save an entire production. The first hour of Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry is remarkably lackluster and a drag to get through as at this stage Etero is simply a dull and repetitive character who the viewer does not care for. While this complements the latter half of the film as it allows for the development of the character, it does not change the fact the first hour of the film is not anywhere close to the quality of the second half.

To add to that, the vast majority of the supporting cast are also extremely unlikable without any redeeming qualities as they simply exist to put Etero down and to give context of her past. Though Etero’s lover Murman, played by Temiko Chichinadze is essential for Etero’s development and provides the film with a reason to drive the plot forward. While the character can come off as charming for some he may be interpreted as a condescending man. He has an untimely affair with Etero which never seems to get properly addressed throughout the film’s runtime which may create confusion in the viewer as to what Murman’s motivations truly are, thus causing the viewer to want to see Etero with a better man.

Negatives aside, Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry at its core presents a film about self love, with Etero being a voice of all types of people. Some could argue that Etero presents a metaphor that it’s ok to do what the heart desires and sometimes life will present challenges that you don’t have to concede to. Etero being alone for 48 years of her life clearly presents that some people simply don’t need to rely upon other people to be happy.

This theme may speak to some audience members as they feel Etero’s pain and her trauma but also her willpower to say no to people when she wants to. To put it without spoilers, the films ending perfectly encapsulates everything that the film stands for as Etero converts from a monotone, depressing and somber blackbird into a fruitful, inspiring and lively character.

Overall, while Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry may not appeal to the general public, Eka Chavleishvili’s delivers an award worthy performance that may just find this independent film the audience it was hoping for.

3/5 stars


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