By Adam Ray Palmer
Netflix love a documentary. If it’s not a mini-series about tigers and an eccentric zoo owner, then it’s a gripping, emotion film about human lives.
After watching Tell Me Who I Am, I went searching for more interesting stories that the streaming service had to offer, and I found Three Identical Strangers.
Three Identical Strangers follows… you’re not going to expect this… identical triplets who become separated at birth and adopted by three different families. The trio do not know of the others’ existence and have lived the first quarter of their lives completely oblivious to having two brothers each. Years later, their amazing reunion becomes a global sensation.
Once everything is realised, there seems to be an unthinkable secret that delivers drastic repercussions. What ensues from a joyous documentary is unfathomable story that really needs to be seen to be believed.
The documentary movie begins with multiple reconstructions depicting the three lives of Robert Shafran, Edward Galland and David Kellman – three identical strangers that reside in and around America. When a chance meeting of two of the brothers occurs, the newspapers lap up the incredible story. This makes its way to the third brother, who comments “these look exactly like me”. One thing leads to another, and before you know it, the three are reunited and the press makes them icons.
This is when the docu-film becomes a thriller. One shocking revelation after another of the hidden forces that shaped, and distorted, the lives of the boys begins. The film is so engrossing from start to finish, you go on a journey with the trio like they are reliving everything that occurred way back when. Whilst it’s captivating, it quickly turns your emotions to infuriation.
The story is so ridiculous, with hush-hush moments of pure absurdities that it makes you think you have stumbled across a scripted series. This is a complement to the documentary’s filmmaking. Whilst in areas it is a little predictable, there isn’t a lot Tim Wardle (director) and Grace Hughes-Hallett (writer) could do – the story is the story. But the way they portray the detail in every scene really keeps you gripped. It’s very similar to Tell Me Who I Am in this way.
On the whole, Three Identical Strangers (the film) is a great documentary. Nothing is skirted around, and everything is explained thoroughly. What comes with this though is certainly uneasy sequences. When everything is revealed within 20 minutes of the jubilant reunion, you know something deeper is coming. So, with bombshells littered throughout, this quickly becomes a real-life rollercoaster. Just make sure you strap in.
Cineroom’s rating: 4 stars
Three Identical Strangers is out now worldwide on Netflix.