Friday, 2 August 2013

Triangle (5 Stars)

It's been a long time since I watched this film. Too long. I reviewed it on April 7th last year. Even though that was the only time I'd watched it the film has remained stuck in my head. I could remember scenes precisely, and when I rewatched it today they were startlingly familiar. After watching it a second time it's become one of my favorite films. Okay, when I first reviewed it I only gave it 4½ stars because I accused it of plagiarism. That was a mistake. If plagiarism were a sin I would have to rate all of Quentin Tarantino's films badly. They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and that certainly applies to films.

"Triangle" draws heavily on other films. The most obvious influences are "Timecrimes" and "The Shining", but there are also elements of "Lost Highway" and "Donnie Darko". The more I think about it, the more similarity I see between the supernatural elements of "Triangle" and "Lost Highway". The film shows some similarity with generic horror films, especially in the first half hour, but this isn't what the film is about. The film's posters marketed it as a cheap horror film, which might be why it failed at the box office.

There are spoilers after the next picture, so stop reading if you haven't watched the film yet. Or rather, stop reading until you've watched the film, because it's a masterpiece that everyone should see. The picture (deliberately large to prevent anyone scrolling down accidentally) is a portrait of Melissa George as she appears in the film. She's a very attractive women, but in "Triangle" she looks decidedly unsexy.

I noticed some new things this time. Jess's house number is 237, the same number as the cabin in which the dead body is found. The cab driver who speaks to Jess after the car crash seems to be more significant than I noticed at first. He seems to be an embodiment of the Greek God Charon, the ferryman who carries the dead to Hades. This is where she attempts to cheat death, like Sisyphus. The cab driver tells her that her son is dead and can't be revived, but she doesn't accept this. She asks him to take her to the harbour in an attempt to get her son back. She wants to travel into death and return to save her son. Significantly, she doesn't pay the fare. The meter is left running while she dies, but she promises to pay when she returns. This is a paradox, of course. She's being punished for attempting to cheat death, but the death is part of punishment; neither Jess nor her son would have died if she weren't being punished.

Some reviewers suggest that Jess originally killed her son, then offered her life in exchange for letting him live again. This is a possibility, but I'm not 100% sure that I accept it. This would explain why Jess kills her other self in her house. She was trying to kill her past self before she killed her son. This would mean that she attempted to cheat death by driving away with her son, but death demands justice, and the car crash kills her son again. That's an interesting theory. I would welcome comments from my readers.

After boarding the yacht Jess sleeps for "over two hours". This is the reason for the time difference between 8:17 and 11:30 when they are on board the Aeolus (two hours plus the time from the storm to boarding the Aeolus). Time is continuing for the other passengers, but Jess is frozen at 8:17. She says that she had a bad dream while she was asleep. After watching the film twice it's obvious to me that it wasn't a dream. When she awoke she remembered what happened before she fell asleep, and she mistakenly thought she had dreamt it. If she had acknowledged it as the truth she would probably have escaped her punishment. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

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