Sunday, June 7, 2015

3 COEURS
(3 HEARTS)

Greenbelt 3 Cinemas


As the title suggests, this is a tale of 3 hearts. But it is not your ordinary love triangle story, it comes with a twist. The kind of twist which can only exist and truly thrive in a French setting.

One night Marc, a homely tax auditor misses his train ride back to Paris. Stuck in the province, he meets a woman who stepped out to buy cigarettes. They walk around all night talking about anything but themselves. No names nor contact details are exchanged. The next morning at the train station, they are smitten so agree to meet next Friday at 6 P.M. in Paris at the Park near the Eiffel Tower. 

The 2nd heart belongs to the mysterious woman, Sylvie. She owns an antiques shop with her sister. Disillusioned with her marriage, she returns to their mother's house. As agreed, she takes a train for the rendez-vous to Paris, yet by 7 P.M., "Marc"  is a no show. Deeply frustrated, she agrees to relocate to the U.S with her husband.

Sophie owns the 3rd heart. After her sister relocates, she must deal with the business and discovers certain discrepancies with their accounts. She encounters Marc who helps her sort out the books. Soon enough, they fall in love, get married and have a child. Unbeknownst to either of the sisters, they both fell for the same man.

The brilliant acting by the ensemble cast of well known French thespians redeemed this averagely interesting film. Catherine Deneuve in her brief role as the matriarch is still a stunning presence. Chiara Mastroianni, her daughter with the late Italian actor, Marcello Mastroianni plays the more emotionally fragile Sophie with much conviction.

While Sylvie played by Charlotte Gainsbourg, (daughter of the late musician Serge Gainsbourg and English actress Jane Birkin), enthralls us in her role as the more impulsive sister. Both actresses are polar opposites, both in their acting style as well as their personality. Gainsbourg has her minimalism style with a bohemian flair. While Mastroianni is more expressive. So it was interesting to watch them cast as sisters with different personalities who were quite close and fond of each other.

Honestly, the story line is quite incredulous. You kept wondering when Marc will connect the dots and learn that Sylvie and Sophie were sisters. Although there were some familiar gestures which both sister shared but which Marc probably thought was coincidental until his world is in turmoil once he finds out the truth.

I notice two main problems with this particular film. The creepy foreboding music that accompanied most of the scenes between Marc and Sylvie. I was constantly on edge because I expected some 'accident' to occur but it never did. Perhaps, this was the director's way of 'warning' the audience that this type of scenario is wrong?

Another thing is the voice-over which popped up an hour into the film. It simply mentioned a few details about Marc then went silent until the conclusion. As is the norm with some if not most French movies, the ending was open ended. It is up to you to form your own conclusion. Frankly, it doesn't take too much effort to ascertain that it doesn't bode well for these three hearts.

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