Who wouldn’t feel nostalgic watching films about adolescent romances! Director Nana Givievna Dzhordzhadze (credited as Nana Djordjadze) obliges with a drama about a coming-of-age summertime romance set in Soviet-era Georgia, “27 Dakarguli Kotsna” [Eng. Title: 27 Missing Kisses]. The film is also poetic, in a Shakespearian way.
Mickey reminisces his summer of ’73 when a girl his own age, fourteen, arrives at his home-town after traversing a live artillery range and ducking close-landing shells. Sibylla had come to spend summer with her aunt, and Mickey instantly falls in love with her. But he’s up against a formidable love-rival in the form of his dad, forty one, widower, astronomer, ladies-man, and local heartthrob – Sibylla has had a crush on his father Alexander the moment she set eyes on him. She’d also stepped into a town that’s already a cauldron of passion, with every other married man and woman having running affairs of some kind. And there’s particular competition among womenfolk for Alexander’s affections, one that he’s only too willing to share, except for Sibylla whom he diligently sets aside for son Mickey. Nevertheless, rough winds do shake the young ones, and Mickey’s allowance of hundred kisses over the summer with Sibylla will fall twenty seven short…
The film strives to be light-hearted and it succeeds most of the time, but there are elements, typical of Eastern European cinema, that constantly threaten to veer this towards darker territory – one of them being Sibylla’s exceptional maturity for her age, yet earning for her dead father, and her fascination for someone much older than her. One is also not sure if the rampant promiscuity among the townsfolk (and even among their dead grandparents) is meant as a critique or merely a comedic device. It has several off-beat characterisations too, like the sailor towing his tugboat through town looking for a new sea in which to sail – his sea had apparently disappeared. The film as a whole is richly sensual, poetic, and charming. A sixteen year old Nutsa Kukhianidze (credited as Nuza Kukhianidze) plays Sibylla, her character’s disarming candour coupled with her cute looks steal our heart from the outset. Other likeable characters such as Shalva Iashvili who plays young Mickey, and Amaliya Mordvinova who plays the promiscuous Veronica keep us engaged and entertained. Recommended Viewing.
The Nudity: Nutsa Kukhianidze and Amaliya Mordvinova
As can be expected from such a storyline, the film features several noteworthy scenes of nudity from Nutsa Kukhianidze who plays Sibylla and Amaliya Mordvinova who plays Veronica, a woman having flings with practically every man in town right under the nose of her jealous but totally inept husband.