Movie Review - Three Identical Strangers
What's revealed is that the agency that arranged the adoptions was in league with a researcher connected to a powerful Jewish organization. That organization decided to separate twins or multiples so that the researcher could study the effects or issues of human nature. The brothers call the group behind the study evil. They call their separation not justifiable and compare what happened to them to the Holocaust and what the Nazis did, which seems a tad bit harsh and hyperbolic. Yet, Wardle has no interest in exploring why it might be evil or not justifiable.
The movie seemingly is critical of adoption at least in part. The first bone of contention is the idea that the reason the triplets were separated was due to the notion that triplets are difficult to place together as a set. Wardle doesn't debunk or verify that notion. He could have interviewed an adoption expert who could have spoken to that notion, but no such luck.
There's an issue regarding the medical history of one's biological family. No one would argue against denying a person their biological family's medical history and what could or couldn't be passed down. However, there is no adoption expert to speak to how or if that medical history is shared in regular adoptions or even closed adoptions and if doing so can be done without knowing anything else about one's biological family and the ethics of it. Given that it's also revealed that the triplets' birth mother had a history of mental illness and the triplets are revealed to also have mental illness, having that information denied to them seems particularly egregious. Yet still, could they have had that information without knowing the name of their birth mother or anything about her?
One of the brothers named Eddy Galland is diagnosed as manic depressive later in his life after meeting his triplets. This is only briefly discussed given that that particular brother dies prior to the filming of this documentary. Another brother named David Kellman mentions being in a mental facility, but that's all he says. He never goes into details. Doing so would have provided insight into that brother, distinct from the others. Yet, Wardle glosses over it.
That might be a clever point to make at the end, but that means the movie can only make that point by overlooking those differences too. Wardle interviews the two surviving brothers and it's obvious that those two are different in their looks and personalities, but that's at present after seeing how both have aged in divergent ways. The notable differences would have to be during the time in dispute when the boys were young and the movie doesn't do that.
Instead, the movie wastes time chasing after the researcher and the group behind the study. It's a logical avenue to pursue, but once Wardle learns that pursuing it leads to no solid answers, leaving it in the movie feels like a waste. It's time that could have been devoted into delving into the lives of the brothers.
Rated PG-13 for some mature thematic material.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 36 mins.
Available on DVD / VOD on Oct. 2.