Review: Limousine (2021)

Courtesy of Kino Pavasaris

While some people can control their empires while riding a limo (as it was shown in David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis), for others the limo ride is a once-in-a-lifetime type of event. Okay, maybe not just once, there are occasions when renting a limo seems appropriate: a wedding, a graduation, retirement or some other sort of celebration, an important family event or a night of extensive clubbing and showing off. To each their own pleasure, I guess.

Saulé Bliuvaité’s short documentary titled Limousine that has just premiered at the national short competition of Vilnius International Film Festival – Kino Pavasaris is an attempt to catch a spirit of limo-riding in a compact, 15-minute format. But actually, it deals with the expectations, those from the participants and those from the viewers.

It is always the same limo, but the groups of people are different. There are teen girls, celebrating one girl’s 18th birthday. There are elderly ladies, probably enjoying the ride for the first time in their lives. There is a group of deaf young people communicating in sign language. There is a group of clubbers anxious to show off. There is a large, possibly extended family with kids of different ages. The sparkling wine is always cool, the light show is on and the choice of music is wide enough.

But it feels that something is missing nevertheless, leaving much of the passengers’ expectations unfulfilled. Simply put, apart from the drinks, the light show, the music and the instant sense of luxury, all their actions and conversations could be performed on the back seat of a regular taxi.

It is hard to say whether that was Bliuvaité’s original premise, or it is a realization she came to while filming. Some things are certain, though. Firstly, Limousine is a technically accomplished film that has to deal with the same cramped space over and over again, but is never boring thanks to Vytautas Plukas’ brilliant camerawork and Iveta Macevičiuté’s sound design that points our attention to the desired direction. And secondly, it simply catches the diffuse feeling of nothing really happening while the expectations go wild.

Courtesy of Lithianian Shorts

Original title: Limuzinas
Year: 2021
Runtime: 15’
Country: Lithuania
Languages: Lithuanian, Lithuanian sign language
Directed by: Saulé Bliuvaité
Written by: Saulé Bliuvaité
Cinematography by: Vytautas Plukas
Editing by: Saulé Bliuvaité. Igné Narbutaité
Music by: Ernestas Kaušylas
Sound design by: Iveta Macevičiuté
Colourist: Vytautas Plukas
Produced by: Krisitina Ramanauskaité, Giedré Burokaité
Production company: Magic Films
Supported by: Lietuvos Kino Centras