Tom Tykwer has carved out one of the most agile careers in European cinema. From the delirious shock of his breakout film Run Lola Run to the arthouse chills of Perfume: The Story of a Murderer to the gloss of his transnational thriller The International, Tykwer has brought polish and new ideas to every film. With Three he makes another leap, back to the raw adventure of his early films and forward into something entirely new.
It begins at the beach, where Hanna and Simon engage in a scene of comically absurd miscommunication. He returns from the sea wanting to tell his partner about having just nearly drowned. She is so absorbed in her book that its fiction obscures his reality altogether. She either doesn’t hear him of doesn’t care to; it’s the middle of a beautiful relationship.
Pushing the story forward in a playful, intellectual style, Tykwer explores what happens to this educated, middle-aged Berlin couple as their disconnection grows. At a scholarly lecture, Hanna finds herself daydreaming about sex acts in Jeff Koons artworks, so it’s no surprise that when she meets Adam, she falls into a fast and furtive affair.
Simon also meets Adam. The two of them swim together at a spectacular indoor-outdoor pool in the city. Soon they too drift into a mutual attraction which also culminates in secret sex. Now these three Berliners find themselves in a literal love triangle, each one keeping it hidden from the others. But when Hanna discovers she is pregnant, the secrets can’t hold.
Tykwer seems at his most free here, leading his story in surprising directions that match the no-limits lives of his characters. At the same time, he allows himself moments of pure play with the form of the film, using all the visual and sonic sophistication he has developed in two decades of making films. It’s a delight to watch such smart eyes look at modern desire. –TIFF.net
TOM TYKWER was born in 1965 in Wuppertal. “Peter Pan” was probably the first film he saw, and he says that the youthful fantasy of creating a magical parallel world remains an inspiration to this day. The dreamy, childlike sense of wonder in “Peter Pan” fascinated him, as did Vittorio de Sica’s “Miracle in Milan”. Another important cinematic experience was seeing “King Kong” – nine-year-old Tykwer realized that cinema was artificial, man-made. This particular film marked the start of his fondness for the horror genre. Tykwer also names James Whales’ “Bride of Frankenstein”, "Miracle in Milan” and John Carpenter’s “Halloween” as some other early discoveries. From this point on Tykwer’s adolescence revolved round his passion for the cinema. To get greater access to films he helped out in an art-house cinema, which also allowed him to circumvent age restrictions.
Tykwer started making Super 8 films at the age of eleven, a purely fan-driven exercise in which he essentially rehashed… read more
A well-crafted film that presents the story in an unconventional way: there's experimentation with the narrative, presenting the plot through several artistic metaphors (i.e. the first sequence with the light cables). The performances are funny, and deserving of praise. The story offers an uncomplicated solution with utopian balance. Not necessarily credible, but enough for the characters and their need for love.
A welcome surprise to have enjoyed this as much as I did. Tremendous directing, beautiful cinematography & an intriguing story that unfolds at perfect pace. Tykwer helps us ask questions about human relationships and discover them in a new light.