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Third Person Review: Intriguing, but too Self Aware

Third Person


Third Person (directed by Paul Haggis) is no popcorn flick. It’s for people who want to think in depth about what they’re watching. The opening scenes of this film have impressive editing visually and thematically connecting the characters and their stories. People will leave this film feeling extremely depressed, so it’s good to see it during the day when audience members can walk out into sunlight and have time to cleanse their pallets with something like Chef or a few episodes of Modern Family before going to bed.
The three individual storylines in the film do a good job hooking the audience and getting them to question where those stories are going and how they will end. The thematic mirror works really well in two of the three stories, but the third story, while interesting breaks the thematic link. That wouldn’t be a huge problem, if the level of self awareness wasn’t so excessively high. There is one scene in the film with Liam Neeson’s character that would improve the film if it was not in there. The reason: it gives away the ‘twist’ at the end rather than merely hinting at it. If it had been much more subtle, the ending would have had the mind blowing effect it was supposed to have.
People arguing that there is sexism in this film have plenty to work with, though people arguing that the film is not sexist have some arguments to make as well, but they’d have to dig much deeper and put effort into piecing things together. Men who have been irresponsible or have an ex-wife in this film seem to be able to move on with their lives while their exes are trapped by past tragedy. The editing and performances (James Franco, Mila Kunis, Adrien Broady, Maria Bello, Olivia Wilde, ect) in the film are very good and make it worth watching on Netflix when people have a bit of spare time and curiosity. Most people will be eager for the film to end though.