Throughout the twentieth century, critics and filmmakers alike have often commented upon the interactive relationship between transit and cinema, interpreting train travel as a visual metaphor which fuses these notions together. In "Tickets", a film which unites three famous 'auteurs' of contemporary cinema- Abbas Kiarostami, Ermanno Olmi and Ken Loach- three narratives of differing cultural sensibilities are intertwined within a single journey aboard a train from Eastern Europe to Rome. Although there are noticeable shifts between the narratives of each of the directors, particularly if you have already seen some of their previous films, the individual signatures of each director create a unique tripartite and structure that breathes life into the complex human interactions experienced whilst on the journey.
It can be said that aesthetically trains provide confined moving spaces, which Einstein would suggest, are only relative to our perceptions. While the relationships between the characters in "Tickets" are often utterly separate, from a lonely professor dreaming of love to three Celtic soccer fans on their way to a Champions League game, by occupying the same social space the characters are intrinsically linked to one another. In this vein, the film adopts a particularly European sentiment that is closely associated with the emergence of the European Union. Yet, to imply that this theme resonates in a dominant manner throughout the film is incorrect. Rather, this an intensely beautiful film bound by a shared ability of the directors to convey the emotional subtleties and internal perceptions of the various characters, all of which are, whilst aboard the same train, ultimately traveling in different directions. For this reason, "Tickets" is a rewarding film that allows you to think outside the exaggerated and distorted realities imposed by many films today. It certainly is worth a ticket!
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