Three and a Half (2011)

  |  Drama

Three and a Half (2011) Poster

Three women are traveling in a stolen car through Iran, hoping to make it the northern border so that they can flee the country. But things are not going as they were expecting.


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11 December 2011 | JvH48
| Promising announcement fails to deliver on all counts. I missed psychological background, reasons for being on the run, and a logical story line
I saw this film as part of the Ghent filmfestival 2011. I was intrigued by the announcement (start quote) "(...) three women want to leave Iran. All of them are close friends who were imprisoned in a not-so-distant past. On the road, the women encounter some incidents and problems and they can't always count on the kindness of strangers. Along the way, the protagonists offer the viewer a glimpse of their personalities and histories. (…) fascinating and an intelligently constructed film" (end quote). After 80 minutes I can only conclude that the film failed to deliver on all counts.

Firstly, their imprisonment is left undeclared. We can only guess how they got into prison, why they were released (probation?? escape??), and most importantly how their prison time influences their current behavior.

Secondly, I badly missed any information about their background and their personalities. Is the relationship between the three women originating from their imprisonment, or did they know each other before that time?? Or is the "prison" meant as a metaphor, referring to life as a woman in Iran??

Thirdly, the gunshot that makes up the opening scene, is repeated identically at the end. How are we to know what happened and in which order?? Is the gunshot the trigger for their journey, or just the end result?? I still do not understand.

Etcetera. I can go on like this, but my point should be clear by now. The net result is that I lacked any involvement in what happened with the three women. A lot goes on underway, and the film is far from boring. But that seems to be my only positive comment about this film.

All in all, though the film is technically well made and the actors perform well, I certainly missed a well developed story line. In other words, the proceedings challenged my logic. Also, I missed some insight in the psychology of the three main characters, and their motives to get out of the country so badly. I scored a 2 (out of 5) for the audience award when leaving the theater.

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