Wild. That’s the only possible word to describe this documentary. When Three Identical Strangers was first released, there was so much hype around it… and I completely missed it. So let’s see what all the fuss was about.
The documentary takes you on an absolutely unique journey. It begins in the 1980s, when a young man goes to college and people instantly mistake him for someone else. When he’s persuaded to meet his double, they can’t believe their eyes: there’s no doubt that they are twins. Or are they? Shortly after, they stumble upon a third brother – again identical – and realise they’re actually triplets. But don’t go expecting a smiley, happy journey about long-lost siblings, because this is far from it. As the brothers look into their heritage in order to find out why they were separated at birth, things suddenly appear to be a lot more sinister than they could have ever imagined.
Three Identical Strangers comes in a standard documentary with a standard format: story, interviews, vintage photographs and found footage. Standard, right? What makes your standard documentary great however is the story. And this is a great story.
You’ll go through every emotion in the book during this film’s run time, from joy to crying your eyes out. Sometimes (like right fucking now) you need something to uplift your spirits, and you can find that right here in part. But then you’ll quickly realise it’s not all plain-sailing, wholesome content, and there’s some real upsetting drama here too, and that’s exactly what you want from a documentary. With this, the plot twists are just so unexpected and brilliantly told that you’ll be glued to the screen constantly.
Shocking, exciting, complex… Unless you know this story already, this is possibly the most unpredictable chain of events you’ll see in a true story.It’s surprising that this hasn’t been made into some sort of sci-fi thriller movie because it’s so much more disturbing than a simple tale about long lost siblings. In fact, if this was worked into a fictional story, you’d probably think it was completely unrealistic. Well guess what? It’s completely true. And it’s terrifying.
For story alone, this would deserve a 5 Q rating. It’s nothing ground-breaking or different in terms of documentary filmmaking with the almost cliché use of interviews and the like, but its themes of psychology and ethics are really interesting to see.
Very touching and so many twists and turns – I definitely understand now why this was so hyped back in 2018. Not to be missed.
Three Identical Strangers is available to stream on Netflix in the UK.
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Costume & Set Design: n/a
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