Review: Three Identical Strangers

Three Identical Strangers.

I usually don’t see documentaries in theaters, so it’s rare that I see two in one week (following Won’t You Be My Neighbor?). This one is very different and for entirely different audiences, but in the end, is it still a good choice?

The gist.

Without spoiling too much, our movie follows three triplets that were separated as children and didn’t know each other existed until they were almost twenty and found each other by sheer luck. This documentary follows what that experience was like but also introduces some much more mysterious dealings involving why they were separated.

What works?

The story here is incredible. The movie keeps adding twists, as you realize this story is about much more than just these three guys. It brings up questions about nature vs. nurture and how these three can be so similar but also drastically different. As a story, it’s incredibly compelling.

The movie also does a great job of holding back some reveals and pacing them out. In retrospect, they could’ve revealed a few big wow factors early on but successfully delayed some of these moments for later.

What doesn’t work?

While the story is incredible, I’m not completely sold that this works as a movie. It’s a news blip and some odd reveals that are ultimately stretched out to two hours. It drags a bit at times and falls into lulls, until they reveal the next snippet. There’s just some pacing problems.

To fill this time, they use interview clips (which work) but they shot dramatic reenactments to show these story beats (and these don’t work). These reenactments avoid showing people’s faces and they’re obviously not real, so it detracted from a lot of these moments. It reminded me of real crime shows I used to watch growing up and this was sometimes just as cheesy.

The movie is also much more grim than you might imagine. It dives into mental illness and psychological experiments and some dark subject matter, that you may not be prepared for. It’s not a fun fluff piece on siblings finding each other, it’s much more.

Overall…

This movie is not for everyone, it’s really for a very specific audience. You must be patient and have a soft spot for documentaries. You might enjoy this even more if you’re interested in mental illness and psychological research, as this might bring up some big questions for you to debate with friends. If you’re a casual viewer, this movie might feel slow and fail to really hit the mark for you. It’ll likely end up streaming sooner rather than later, so maybe wait.

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About adamryen

Entertainment. Gaming. Dreaming.
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