Triangle (2009)

.
There’s a triangle, right there.

This isn’t about the shape though, or indeed the legendary 80s nautical soap, but rather the 2009 film written and directed by Christopher Smith and starring Melissa George.

Oddly enough, the biggest problem with this (at least if, as I did, you watched it in the comfort of your own home), is the box the DVD comes in (at least in the UK).  It’s not that it’s badly designed or made or anything (it even has one of those cardboard sleeves with a 3D hologram thingy on it, the sort that makes you feel faintly nauseous whenever you look at it); but rather what’s written on it.  Specifically, there are quotes from reviews that contain words like “head-spinning” and “twist”, and, crucially, on the back there’s a list of the special features, which, we learn, include various storyboards.  The ‘crucial’ part is that the packaging lists what these sequences are called.

This becomes important two-and-a-half minutes into the film.  At this point there’s a moment with a doorbell which sets off a light bulb above the head of anyone that’s seen Lost Highway.  “Aha!” you think, “I know broadly how this is going to be structured!”  If you’re me, you write this thought down, so you can check you haven’t been cheating later on.  (Yes, I know.)  After you’ve done this, you remember the list of scene titles for which you can peruse the storyboards later, and, after another minute or so, you pause the DVD and write down in some detail what you think is going to happen.  (Yes, I know, again.)

Twenty-five minutes in there’s a vaguely Shining-esque moment, which will have you reaching for your pen and drawing ticks all over the notes you made earlier (Yes, I know, again, again, &c.) and, when the credits roll after the regulation hour and half [1] you’ll note that everything you wrote down was quite right.

However.

I don’t want to this to sound like a “do you see how clever I am?” exercise (bit bloody late now!  Jesus. – Ed) because I actually really rather enjoyed this, and I have endless admiration for filmmakers like Christopher Smith who create and get lower budget stuff like Triangle actually made and into cinemas.  I don’t mean to suggest for a moment, either, that Smith was cribbing from Lynch or Kubrick, beyond anything any filmmaker would.

The short (ish) point is that, as a reasonably film-literate person who reads the film magazines and reviews etc, and, having thought I’d find this interesting (and realised that I would, for location and parenthood reasons, be very unlikely to see this “at the time” on the big screen) therefore carefully avoided spoilers for months and months, it was slightly disappointing to have the film ‘spoilt’ (as it were) by the packaging on the DVD I’d finally shelled out hard-earned for (and which, essentially, with the aid of film-memory related light bulbs, enabled me to map out most of it within five minutes…)

That said, there were plenty of minor moments that I hadn’t written down, and I’d still very much recommend it.  I’m still having (genuinely, and yes, yet again, I know) fun drawing a chart of exactly what I think the time-line(s) are, which is the reason I haven’t linked to the spoiler-filled wikipedia page, as I haven’t yet finished deciding to what extent I agree with it yet…

So: nice one, despite the efforts of the packaging designers, and I fully realise how colossaly wanky and unforgivably unnaceptable I sound here…

[1]  Incidentally, hooray for this being the right length for the story rather than several days too long.  Increasingly, as I get older and grumpier, I find this sort of thing is not trivial)

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Posted on October 18, 2012, in REVIEWS, UNDERRATED THINGS. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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