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Film / 13 Tzameti
aka: Thirteen 2010

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13 Tzameti is a 2005 French-Georgian thriller written, produced, and directed by Georgian filmmaker Géla Babluani.

Sébastien is a Georgian immigrant living in France and doing odd jobs to support his family. He is repairing the roof of morphine addict Jean François, whom he overhears talking of a mysterious job that will get him a lot of money. When Jean François dies of an overdose before he can pay Sébastien, the latter steals an envelope sent to Jean François holding a train ticket and takes his place in the hope of getting the job himself. Unfortunately for Sébastien, the job involves being a contestant in a high-stakes game of Russian Roulette.


In 2010, Babluani directed an American remake called 13, with Sam Riley playing the protagonist (now called Vince), and an All-Star Cast that includes Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Ray Winstone, Ben Gazzara, Alexander Skarsgård, 50 Cent, David Zayas, Emmanuelle Chriqui and MMA fighters Don Frye and Forrest Griffin.

This movie has the following tropes:

  • 13 Is Unlucky:
    • Sébastien is allocated the number 13 and forced to play Russian Roulette for his life, with all the odds against him. He survives through sheer luck, only to be murdered afterwards.
    • The Affably Evil gambler Jose Schlondorff has the license plate GR 13 13. Sébastien remembers the distinctive number, and it's the only useful clue he gives to the police.
  • Four Is Death: Lampshaded when it's mentioned that a previous game in Istanbul had 42 participants.
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  • All for Nothing: The surviving brother murders Sébastien for his money (though also to avenge his brother) not realising he's already mailed it. Averted with Sébastien who at least ensures his family gets the money after his death.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: By the time Sébastien finds out what the job is, it's too late to back out. He's prevented from leaving the house, and has a gun put to his head when he hesitates to shoot a player.
  • At the Crossroads: Obeying the instructions he's been given, Sébastien takes a taxi from the station to a highway crossroads, from where he's collected.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Sébastien survives the game only to be murdered, but not before he's sent the money to his family and given the police a clue that can help them track down the participants.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How all the players die.
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  • Camera Sniper: The first clue the audience has that something is wrong is when Jean François goes to check to see if his letter has arrived and this trope happens, as he's under police surveillance.
  • Counting to Three: In the first round of the game Sébastien freezes on the trigger, having never killed anyone before. A gun is put to his own head and a gangster tells him he'll pull the trigger on three unless Sébastien fires himself. He's able to make himself pull the trigger just before "3".
  • Creepy Basement: When Sébastien flees through the basement, he finds the corpses of the dead players have been dumped there.
  • Critical Hesitation Blunder: In his first round the protagonist freezes up on the trigger, unable to fire. This means the player he's pointing a gun at has to stand there for what seems to him an eternity, waiting for the bullet to end his life. In the remake this player vows revenge in the next round, so he delays the moment of firing intending to make Vince suffer in turn. Instead he gets his brains blown out by the man behind him. It turns out afterwards his gun was loaded and if he'd fired straight away, Vince would be dead.
  • Deadly Game: Men desperate for money are recruited to play a game of Russian roulette, with wealthy gangsters taking bets on who survives.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Sébastien takes the place of Jean François, and by the time his sponsors find out it's too late for him to back out.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The original movie, but not the remake.
  • Dissonant Serenity: In the final duel, veteran player 6 is calm while 13 is soaked in sweat and Quaking with Fear.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: Justified as the players cock their revolvers on command, then fire when they see the lightbulb turn on.
  • Dramatic Irony: The protagonist has the unlucky number 13, yet survives through pure luck even though he's never played before.
  • Dramatic Thunder: A faint roll of thunder is heard when Sébastien is told he can't leave the game.
  • Duel to the Death: The final stage of the game involves two of the surviving players facing off with three rounds in their revolvers. If they survive that, then four rounds are loaded and so on until one of them is dead. Sébastien finds himself matched against 6, a veteran player who has survived three previous games.
  • Eat the Evidence: Sébastien eats the receipt for the package he mailed to his family when he sees the police approaching him, so the money won't be tracked down and confiscated as evidence. In the 2010 American remake, Vince eats the receipts as he's dying after being shot.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: People do survive the game and are paid as agreed, with the gangsters stopping any of their minions from robbing them afterwards. Of course this only encourages the players to try again once they've spent their money on drugs.
  • Garbage Hideout: In the remake, Vince realises he's about to be detained by the police so hides the money inside a garbage can, leading to an Oh, Crap! moment when he returns to find the garbage has been collected. Fortunately the garbage bags have only been piled nearby for the garbage truck to pick up, and he's able to find the right one.
  • Human Mail: In the remake not all the contestants are volunteers, including an inmate from a Mexican prison who's Shipped in Shackles in a crate which is only opened two days later. The first priority of his captors is to give him a shower.
  • If I Do Not Return: In 13, Jefferson draws a map of where he's buried money from a heist, and tells a guard to take the map off his corpse if he's killed and keep half the money, as long as he gives the rest of his son. Turns out he survives, so the guard tries to murder him for the map. The other guards intervene, whereupon Jefferson brandishes a blank sheet of paper to taunt him, claiming there never was any buried money. He then burns the genuine map once the guard is out of sight.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Averted; Sébastien is offered morphine or booze at various points, but wisely prefers to keep his wits about him, even if it would make things easier.
  • Kick the Dog: 6 taunts 13 repeatedly while waiting to duel him.
  • Mood Dissonance: While waiting for the next round in the game, one of the players starts playing the piano.
  • Properly Paranoid
    • The gamblers take precautions against any of the players being tailed or turning informant. Sébastien is given a train ticket, but told to get off the train one stop before the station marked on the ticket, enabling him to avoid police surveillance waiting there. On arriving at the meeting place, he's searched thoroughly for a Hidden Wire, with the gangsters even removing his shoe heels in case there's a bug or tracking device there.
    • Sébastien is worried something will happen to him, so mails the money to his family instead of taking it with him on the train. It's a wise precaution as he's picked up by the police, then shot and robbed of his bag by a vengeful player.
  • Russian Roulette: Thirteen players stand in a circle and are given revolvers with one bullet, and spin the chamber until told to stop. They aim their guns at the head of the person in front of them. When a light bulb turns on, they all fire.
  • Sibling Team: 6 is a violent, mentally-challenged player who is managed by his own brother. Their relationship is somewhat troubled — one brother caused the injury that disabled the other, and in the remake, he's kept in an expensive mental care facility, but the brother only visits when he needs his brother for the game. It's left ambiguous whether the surviving brother kills the protagonist out of revenge or greed.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here
    • After Sébastien survives the game with 850,000 euros he's offered a lift to the railway station. He's not inclined to trust these people so he legs it out a back window and makes his way to the station on foot. This helps sell his later story to the police that he'd spent the night hiding in the woods.
    • Averted when the gamblers who recruited Jean François realise an imposter has taken his place. They worry Sébastien might be a police plant and consider fleeing, but realise if the police raid the place after they've fled it will look like they turned informant.

Alternative Title(s): Thirteen 2010