Saturday, July 28, 2018

Three Identical Strangers (2018)

My mother and I were talking once about adopted children finding their biological families.  I felt that if I were adopted, I’d at least want to know about my family’s medical history.  It’s something that’s important to know about.  My mother held that it doesn’t matter as much, as you still need to lead a healthy lifestyle.  I actually thought of that conversation going in to Three Identical Strangers.

As you may have gathered from the trailers, it’s about a set of triplets that reunite at age 19.  It starts with Robert Shafran starting at Sullivan County Community College in 1980.  He cant figure out why everyone is being so friendly towards him…until someone calls him Eddy.  It turns out that one Eddy Galland had gone to the same school the previous year, but had decided not to return.  One of Eddy’s friends drives with Eddy to Robert’s house, where they discover that they were separated at birth.  This leads to some media coverage, which leads to the brothers discovering that there was a third brother, David Kellman.

The first hour covers the three brothers going through the talk-show circuit and getting to know each other.  They all seem friendly and get along pretty well.  They did manage to get in touch with their birth mother, who was single and didn’t feel that she was in a position to raise three boys.  For the most part, they’re happy to be reunited.

The adoptive parents wanted to know why the three children were split up.  It’s common to keep siblings, especially twins, together when being adopted.  The official story was that the adoption agency was afraid that parents wouldn’t want three children at once.  There was a suspicion that there was more to the story, but the triplets weren’t that eager to press it.

This is where the story goes sideways and where I’m going to stop giving out details.   I will say that this isn’t necessarily a feel-good movie.  The coming attractions present stuff from the first half of the movie, which gives the impression that it’s more upbeat.  There was something going on behind the scenes that makes you wonder about people.

It takes about an hour to really get into that part of it.  However, once it gets going, there are a lot of major revelations.   The more people dig into the story, the more bizarre it becomes.  I would say that the movie isn’t one for children.  This is mostly due to the subject matter being aimed at older adults.  The situations are rather heavy.  The movie does look into the nature-versus-nurture debate, for instance.  There are also ethical concerns raised about what happened with the children.

I still feel like I would want to know about my biological family if I found out that I was adopted.  My mother was correct in that knowing isn’t always that important.  You still have to take care of yourself and watch out for certain problems, regardless.  I would still like to at least meet people that I’m related to.  I have to wonder how things might have been different if Eddy or Robert hadn’t gone to the same community college.

IMDb page

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