21 May 2003 | barnabyrudge
Peculiar, small-scale story.
The Triple Echo is, for want of a better word, queer. It's hard to see what commercial appeal the film ever had, if indeed if ever had any. It is also hard to see how the production team and the actors ever felt that it could have much merit as art or entertainment. That's not to say that it is a bad film, for it has plenty to recommend it; it just seems necessary to point out that it is a truly odd project to have been considered for the big screen.
The story tells of a widowed woman living on a farm during WWII. A deserting soldier appears on her property seeking shelter; she takes a liking to him (he is, after all, helpful and energetic around the farm) and eventually decides to help him to evade capture by disguising him as her sister. However, a crude army officer from the nearby garrison starts to fancy "her", until he realises that "she" is actually a "he".
The three principle performances are very good, and the English countryside is painted lovingly throughout. The ending contains a genuinely surprising and jolting twist. There's even a brief dash of sex and bad language to give the film a bit of that typical 70s realism (though, obviously, the story is set during the 40s). What damages this film is the fact that it is such a thin and directionless story. This would have made a splendid 60 minute TV drama, but as a feature length theatrical release, there is simply not enough material to keep you intrigued, interested and entertained for an hour and thirty three minutes or so.