And Then We Danced ★★★★★

the way that merab rests his head in the crook of irakli's neck, leans up just slightly to kiss it, then turns to face him and look him in the eyes. like a flower turning up towards the sun, blooming before our eyes.

the way that we are sent weaving through room after room after david's wedding, after irakli's heartbreaking confession. the way we linger on family members talking, dancing, celebrating.
(so so so much love in every single one of these rooms.)
the way we watch, from the window, as merab leaves to sob, out on the street, at night, alone.
and the way we then watch mary rush out to embrace him, and immediately they're spilling into each other's arms, comforting and cradling each other.

there isn't a single moment of this film that doesn't just sweep me right off my feet, but there's something there in those two scenes which i feel define so much of it.
there is this outpouring of love that akin delivers here. so much love emanating from each and every frame of this film, it's overwhelming.

here is life:
here is family and friendship and cooking and caring and laughing and hugging and holding.
here is commitment and work and responsibilities and consequences and burdens.
here is curiosity and lust and love and giddiness and awakening and joy and comfort and tenderness.
then here is confusion and heartbreak and aching and anguish and misery.

but then there is always, always love.
love. love. love.
a beautiful, healing, defiant, empowering thing.

even in merab's lowest moments, he can't escape it.
when he gets fired and spends hours distressed over irakli, he finds love in new friends.
when he's told irakli's news, he finds love in friends again.
and when he goes home to cry alone, he finds love in family.

akin's repeated juxtaposition of life and sorrow is so ... fascinating to me? it's expressed in the title alone - the sort of casual phrase you throw in concluding some lengthy tale ("well, we... and then we... and after that we... and then we danced.") - but it's also in the sequences like merab attempting to dance at home after injuring his foot, and breaking into sobs while his family chatter away just in the next room.
it's almost as though akin's whispering, just beyond, that life goes on. love goes on. not always in the ways we want or expect but love is there to be found and nourished and celebrated.

and celebrate is just what merab does in those final ten minutes.

the tears that streamed down my smiling face were endless then, but really, i was crying all throughout.

there is just something so beautiful, so moving, so enchanting about watching love transform a person.
about watching merab start to grow and glow and then shine so unabashedly as he does in his audition. here is me. i have loved and i have lost and i am loved and i will love again and again and i am proud.
(it reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: "the heart's not like a box that gets filled up; it expands in size the more you love.")

akin delivers some sort of sweeping, breathtaking kiss through this film, a kiss from prince philip to sleeping beauty, some sort of kiss that's heartstopping and reviving all at once, some resurrection of the heart and soul.

and god, i could not be more grateful to receive it.

a heartfelt ramble written for a film that likely deserves a better articulated review but written nonetheless with overwhelming love, the widest smile, endless tears, and while quite literally physically buzzing (for a whole hour now!),
ava. ♡

p.s. a perfect movie for my birthday. i don't think i've ever felt so ... changed or awakened by a film this way ever ... and i can feel the change in my entire being... so so so perfect.

edit: somewhere somehow akin found this... best birthday gift of my life omfg...

ava liked these reviews