Film Movement – Year 11 Film 5: “Three Worlds” (AKA Trois mondes)

01(3)three-stars15Every day of our lives there are seemingly insignificant incidents that cause people to inhabit other people’s worlds, people who otherwise might never have even met. Usually we don’t give much thought into such everyday and uneventful occurrences, then again, usually were not confronted with a tragic hit and run scenario and all of the anguishing drama that would no doubt unfurl within the wake of such an ordeal. Luckily, for those of us who have never been a part of such a crime, we can live it vicariously through Catherine Corsini‘s escapist drama, Three Worlds. Oh joy. Drama!

Naturally, in the spirit of not wanting to have an obscure title, there are three main characters in the film. There’s the young, recently promoted, soon-to-be married Al (Raphaël Personnaz) who, while in the prime of his life, goes and does the idiotic thing of speeding off after accidentally mowing down a pedestrian. Well, that’s one way to sober up rather quickly. And why wouldn’t he simply call an ambulance, or drive the victim to the ER, one might ask. Well, because aside from being the sensible thing, it would also make for a less entertaining drama. Thankfully, for this voyeur’s viewing pleasure, Mr. Brains opts to drive away and cover his crime, and as a result spends the rest of the movie riddled with immense feelings of guilt and fear. Welcome to world number 1 of 3.

World number 2 of 3: Juliette (Clotilde Hesme); the witness. Just like the above mentioned Al, Juliette is not the soundest of decision makers. She sees the crime from her balcony, consoles the victim’s wife (I’ll get to the wife in the next paragraph), then not only discovers and confronts the culprit, but tries to help him out of his predicament. Um, okay, I guess I can accept her reasons for trying to help both the victim’s family and the criminal, as far-fetched as some of them might be. After all, she’s just so dang caring. C’mon, how can you not root for someone who cares so much? So what if she gets a tad too inappropriately close to one of the parties. Caring people, especially ones who aren’t sure of themselves, tend do that from time to time, do they not? For the sake of fast-paced dramatic storytelling, I was on board with the character of Juliette, and all of her questionable actions, all the way.

World number 3 of 3: Vera (Arta Dobroshi); wife of the hit and run victim, and perhaps the only sensible one of the bunch. And it’s because of her sensible nature that she is also the most boring part of the movie. Not to say that she doesn’t have any interesting qualities about her, but in comparison with to the other two emotional train wrecks she’s quite dull. I suppose all of her scenes could have been cut and she could have existed through reference only. The movie would still have been engaging. But, the reality is that’s not the case. The film isn’t called “Two Worlds” and insists on following  boring Vera just as much as it follows Al and Juliette.

Without spoiling anything, I can’t close this post without mentioning that the script contains a lot of extra meat that needn’t be there. The relationship between both Al and Juliette alone contains enough gripping drama to fill up the film’s current running time if not more. Yet, – a fire analogy, if I may – everything else in the movie feels like just added fire to an otherwise very satisfying story. Thankfully, just as I love my voyeuristic cinema I too love a good fire. Though the flames needn’t be high to keep me warm, on rare occasions I welcome them all the same. Three Worlds is that rare occasion.

Not quite of the Hollywood cookie-cutter variety, yet still fast-paced enough to satisfy those who prefer that sort of thing, this film should please both fans of foreign cinema and fans of more Hollywood styled fare, provided those with an affinity for the latter can get over their fear of subtitles and that fans of the former can accept the more conventional structure. I say enjoy this film for what it is – escapist fast-paced drama.

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