3 Lives, 2019.
Directed by Juliane Block.
Starring Mhairi Calvey, Anatole Taubman, Victor Alfieri, Tyron Ricketts, Maja-Celine Probst, Martin Kaps, Dharmander Singh, and Pete Riley.
A woman wakes up to find herself on the run through the wilderness from a group of kidnappers, but she soon discovers her rescuer is the man who was jailed for attacking her 15 years earlier.
Juliane Block’s 3 Lives offers a serious and thought-provoking overarching theme inside a thriller that ultimately suffers from an unravelling and dull plot. Even when the story begins to fall apart, the performances of several members of the cast enhance the overwhelming tension.
3 Lives follows Emma (Mhairi Calvey) shortly after she discovers she has been kidnapped and left in an abandoned bunker with Ben (Tyron Ricketts), who attacked and violated her 15 years prior, and Jamie (Martin Kaps), who she knows from high school. Now being chased through the wilderness and trust at an all-time low, the group must find a way to escape their kidnappers.
The gripping central theme of 3 Lives focuses on Emma’s turmoil and the negative affects her sexual assault had on her stability. This theme is perfectly relayed to its audience and shows this was an issue that Block, and her crew desperately wanted to discuss and convey. However, this serious topic is implemented inside a tension-filled yet predictable plot that offers little to no thrills or concerns about the characters we are rooting for as they ran around a forest for the first 50 minutes of the film. Albeit, the film does hint at something much more sinister occurring which concludes with a grim but satisfying ending.
On the other hand, the performances of some members of the cast are the greatest highlight of the film, with Calvey’s performance being a clear stand-out. The chemistry between Emma, Ben and Jamie is clearly on display with each interaction feeling naturally conflicting and tense – successfully showcasing their past relationships and how they have developed over the years. However, as great as their chemistry is on-screen, I found their respective characters insufferable at times with the constant and needless arguing. Although, I understand this communicates a lack of trust between the characters, but countless scenes would transition into a pointless dispute where I would be continuously rolling my eyes at the screen.
Meanwhile, the kidnappers are the weakest link in this movie, offering nothing but clichéd personalities (one was the stern boss, one was very eccentric and violent, and one simply swore a lot), intolerable dialogue and a non-existent threat towards the protagonists. Instead, it feels like they were implemented just to make sure the rest of the plot ran as smoothly as possible. The antagonists never heightened the overall tension of the film – which came solely from the conflicting relationships of the three victims.
3 Lives perfectly explores and conveys the horrors and damaging effects sexual assault can have on an individual’s mindset with eye-opening results. However, the predictable plot points and the insufferable kidnappers, fail to match the great performances from Calvey, Ricketts, and Kaps.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★