It can be gathered by the end of the film that somewhere beautiful isn’t nirvana where heartache is left behind, rather a harsh reminder of the normality that sometimes relationships drift apart and people move on, no matter how beautiful the dream of togetherness may seem.
After first hitting the festival circuit in 2013, Armenian-American director Albert Kodagoliabeen’s debut feature film, “Somewhere Beautiful,” has finally secured a theatrical release date. Opening at the Los Feliz 3 this Friday, the film may have been sitting on the shelf for close to four years, but its return to the screen remains as relevant and radiant as ever.
Shot on both 16mm and 35mm film in the Patagonian wilds of Argentina and sun-drenched Los Angeles,”Somewhere Beautiful” is a story about heartbreak and a look at two relationships in varying states of dissolve. Aside from directing, Kodagoliabeen also stars in the film as Albert, a director who returns home to Los Angeles after a shoot to find that his wife Rachel (Robyn Buck) has left both him, and their toddler, due to his ongoing emotional/physical unavailability. Yet Rachel continues to leave him voicemails which play as voiceovers as he struggles to get his life back on track.
Simultaneously, in the wild landscape of Argentina, a photographer (Anthony Bonaventura) begins to notice the budding relationship between his wife Elena (María Alche) and their tour guide (Pablo Cedrón). Elena finds herself in the middle of the two men, quite literally, as she acts as a translator for her husband. The interest in this forbidden love interest manifests as a slow build that comes to a devastating end captured in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
For as beautiful as the film is aesthetically, it is further boosted by the soothing and transformative music of Avi Buffalo and Andrea Silva, appearing on the soundtrack.
For as beautiful as the film is aesthetically, it is further boosted by the soothing and transformative music of Avi Buffalo and Andrea Silva, appearing on the soundtrack. Avi’s breezy, California-cool melody, mixed with the lively and alternative sounds of Andrea’s Colombian roots, give the film a warm, organic feeling. If only the same could be said about the dialogue where, in several scenes, the characters recite lines in a very rigid way, suggesting that it may have been rehearsed too many times. Aside from some awkward moments, the lines themselves are subtle poetry– even the simple line “Go forward, my friend” is one that has resonated with me in the most bittersweet way.
“Somewhere Beautiful” is not rated. 78 minutes. Opening on Friday at the Los Feliz 3.