At the time I saw “Three” it was actually my fifth straight film of the day, so I do not think it was the best film to see in my tired state. This is the brand new film from German filmmaker Tom Tykwer and it is a bit of a change of pace for him after films like “The International” and “Perfume”. “Three” is a modern day drama about a couple, Hanna and Simon, who have been together for twenty years, who both end up having affairs at the same time unbeknown to the other. What they also do not know is that they are both having an affair with the same man, Adam.
It is strange because the couple still obviously care for each other but they both seem to need something extra. Another issue that the couple have to deal with is the sudden announcement that Simon’s mother has pancreatic cancer and has little time to live. At the same time as this revelation, Simon himself as just found out that he has testicular cancer and must be operated on. It all happens so quick, he is informed that he has the cancer and then told he has to be operated on immediately, which just happens to be the day that Hanna starts her affair with Adam, and thus she isn’t aware of his surgery. During his recovery, Simon meets Adam at a swimming pool and starts a relationship with the man. He initially struggles with his feelings because this is his first homosexual relationship, but he decides in the end that life is too short and to just go for it.
As well as the relationship drama that is front and centre, “Three” also looks at the way we label things and how this restricts our happiness due to the boundaries we put on ourselves. For example why shouldn’t we be able to have a successful relationship between three people (as opposed to the generally accepted two) just because society says it is wrong. It is interesting and heady stuff and unfortunately I don’t think I took in as much of this part of the film as I should have due to my tiredness.
“Three” is energetically directed by Tykwer and always makes this dialogue driven film visually exciting. While I think that most of the performances are good, for some reason I reacted against all of them (the characters) and I do not know why. I found Hanna to be especially annoying. I will say that I think the film is far too long and even though I liked the ending, I thought it dragged its feet getting there. Still it was an interesting film and a nice change of pace from Tykwer showing his range as a director.