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Review: Three Worlds (2012)

Director: | 100 minutes | | Actors: , , , Reda Kateb, , , , , Rasha Bukvic, , , ,

A sad car accident underlies this humanist drama by -maker Catherine Corsini. When car salesman Al (Raphaël Personnaz) drives down a deserted Paris street with his friends at night, he accidentally creates a pedestrian at high speed. Juliette (Clotilde Hesme) happens to be standing on her balcony at that moment and sees the accident happen. In doing so, she remembers Al’s face. Fate soon links three human lives together; Vera, the victim’s wife, witness Juliette and perpetrator Al. They therefore embody the appropriate title ‘Trois mondes’, literally translated: ‘Three Worlds’. As it turns out, their lives are very close in points, even though all three characters have their own origins, class, and day-to-day worries. They live in the same town,

Corsini wanted to tell with ‘Trois mondes’ how far such a drama can reach. That it not only concerns those directly involved, but that it also turns the lives of other loved ones upside down. For example Marion, Al’s fiancée. They will be married in ten weeks. Corsini also throws the classic role division of victim versus perpetrator overboard and says that an accident is more complex than that. There is ‘bad luck’ among everyone involved, including the culprit in the story.

Witness to the accident, Juliette (Clotilde Hesme) is the connecting factor in this story. It plays an important role in connecting perpetrator and victim. She shows that it is possible to show empathy for both. Even though this is difficult. Juliette acts here from her life experience and past.

Similarly, Al, who finds it hard to face his act. In his life he never did anything wrong, unlike his fraudulent father-in-law from whom he has now taken over the car company. And now he has to deal with a terrible sense of guilt. ‘Trois mondes’ is brimming with ethics that are not only reflected in the actions surrounding the accident, but also go further in the daily worries of the main characters.

Corsini tells this film largely from Al’s point of view. This means that Al has a human profile from the start as a culprit. The viewer cannot help but embrace him for the most part. By focusing on Al as the culprit, Corsini creates the opportunity to uncover the full human drama hidden behind a daily recurring incident such as a car accident. A drama that for many remains hidden behind fleeting messages in the newspaper and in which only the victim is central.

Subtle additions of and suspense make ‘Trois mondes’ a pleasant film that will appeal to a wider audience than just lovers of French cinema or arthouse. The images are photographic, often dark but shot clear and stable so that the film looks away pleasantly. ‘Trois mondes’ premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

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