Even the title Three Identical Strangers is a bit of a giveaway for a documentary that’s best experienced with as little foreknowledge as possible. Here’s a suggestion: stop reading
Even the title Three Identical Strangers is a bit of a giveaway for a documentary that’s best experienced with as little foreknowledge as possible. Here’s a suggestion: stop reading this summary whenever you reach the point that you’ve decided to buy a ticket to see it. We won’t be offended. Knockout documentary Three Identical Strangers begins as a goofy, believe-it-or-not tabloid story about three men who, at the age of 19, discover that they were identical triplets, separated at birth and reunited by pure happenstance. Extremely unlikely, of course, but not impossible… and if it was commonplace you wouldn’t be watching a documentary about it. It feels approximately as challenging as The Parent Trap.
Through interviews and some adroit reenactment, though, the tone of the movie gradually shifts towards menace. The story grows darker at the true circumstances of the boys’ splitting up is explained. Director Tim Wardle has shaped the film as a detective story in which the more pieces of the puzzle are filled in, the more disgusted and infuriated you become. In order to show you those puzzle pieces, the movie bounces back and forth in time – you may find yourself remembering old news footage as the story is revealed. Fundamentally a non-fiction thriller about a series of devastating bureaucratic and medical decisions and a reflection on what nature vs. nurture really implies, Three Identical Strangers will not be easily forgotten.
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