The thing I often struggle with in watching documentaries, no matter how good they are, is that they are by nature subjective. With carefully timed revelations controlled by the director, I frequently feel manipulated by the end, which hugely reduces my enjoyment of the film as a whole.
With Three Identical Strangers though, director Tim Wardle gets the obvious reveals out of the way early, allowing for a more in-depth exploration of the lives of the eponymous identical strangers. We get to know how the revelations affected them in later life, and some of the background to their situations.
For the most part, it worked well. The subsequent twists and turns drew gasps and smiles from the audience, as the full realisation of what had happened was uncovered.
And then … the final act just couldn’t resist. Additional information is presented in an overly dramatic fashion, leaving me with the feeling that not only I, but also the subjects of the film, were being manipulated once more.
So having throughly enjoyed the majority of the documentary then, I walked out of the cinema with an unpleasant feeling and a whole bunch of questions raised just by the final 15 minutes. If the intention is to revisit with a sequel, then surely this did not need to be set up in this film?
Very good, and very disappointing at the same time.