Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Friday, 11 July 2014 00:00

‘Third Person’ is unrewardingly complicated + Video

‘Third Person’ is unrewardingly complicated smcinema.com
Written by Martha K. Baker
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Related Video

About this Media...

  • Director: Paul Haggis
  • Dates: Opens July 11, 2014

The complications of this film start with the title. “Third Person” refers, of course, to pronoun usage: he, she, it and they. The phrase can also refer to a third person in a party. A triangle. In the movie, “Third Person,” that extra member can be a lover with a married couple.

Or it can be a child with its parents, or a child with its surrogate parent and a birth parent, or an unseen child between two grown-ups trying to save it. Or the third person can be the lawyer trying to negotiate between a couple. So many triangles. Will they ever intersect?

“Third Person” purports to be about three couples: a writer and his lover, and, yes, his wife. This triangle is played by Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde, and Kim Basinger. Neeson plays a failing writer, who uses the third person in his journal. Wilde, as his paramour, also a writer, calls him on it. “Aren’t journals supposed to reveal the inner self?” she demands truly and meanly.

A second group is played by Adrien Brody, Moran Adias and two unseen children — his and hers. A third trinity comprises Mila Kunis, James Franco, and Loan Chabanol — squared by a child, seen. Now, add Maria Bello as a lawyer and the wife of one of the above, add a smuggler and extortionist and a new girlfriend, plus countless by-standers. And then add one more threesome: the cities of London, Paris and Roma. Oh, and to add another fold, another complication, make Roma work overtime by having one of the characters be Roma, the ethnic group formerly known as Gypsies.

So do all these bits and bobs intersect. You bet they do, given that “Third Person” is a film by Paul Haggis, who also created “Crash.” The pattern he established there repeats with his latest film. Unfortunately, “Third Person” is unnecessarily complicated, with too many folds, to many coincidences. Oh, yes, it’s fun to tease apart, but up to a point, and it’s at that point that there had better be a, well, a point. Not too sure “Third Person has one, besides the same one as “Crash,” that is, that life is random and that things do happen that seem coincidental but turn out to be interdigitated or loopy-de-loop.

It seems ironic that Kunis plays a character who was once a soap opera star, hired because she could cry on cue, for she does that, too, in this role. By the time she turns on the waterworks, all trust is gone, yet trust — as seen in references to white by the writer, who steals everyone’s lines for his work — fails throughout. And that includes trust in Haggis’ vision. “Third Person” is exhausting and unrewarding. Even Paris, London and Rome do not fill in when interest flags. As it will. 

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Lida Una

Sun October 5

Brian Owens

Mon September 29
Brian Owens is an American soul singer and songwriter from St. Louis. His new album Preach combines grooves, with soul touching lyrics.. Preach is a well produced album that speaks to the modern times,…

KDHX Recommends

October
Saturday
25

KDHX Reggae Soundclash

St. Louis area DJs and sound systems meet at the Stage at KDHX for a reggae soundclash. The event pits Dub Prophecy vs. Massive Hi Fi in a “friendly clash” – alternating sets of the toughest sounds and the best of...


November
Thursday
06

Discovery Series: All The News That's Fit To Sing: The State of Protest Music in...

KDHX presents "All The News That's Fit To Sing: The State of Protest Music in 1968" as part of the Discovery Series. Series passports can be bought online. This event looks at the music and activism of 1968, through...


November
Friday
07

Art Attack 2014

Start your chainsaws, St. Louis. On November 7, KDHX presents Art Attack 6: a chaotic art auction that supports KDHX and puts the fate of 32 local artists in your hands. Join us for a night of fine art, drinks and destruction....


Online Users

3 users and 10599 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook