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From a non-Swedish perspective - I thought it was pretty good
As happens, one's own views on a particular movie will vary the majority received opinion. Most of the time, the reason for an under- or over-rating is comprehensible. In the present case, however, I am at a complete loss as to understand such an extraordinarily low vote. Is this the same movie that I saw? The date, the cast and plot description would indicate that it is. The only reason I can think of is that since the other reviewers currently listed are Swedish, perhaps the majority of ratings are from Swedes also. Is a native Swede, therefore, able to pick out some particular aspect of the film which I was oblivious too - a cultural or linguistic point perhaps? A brief look at the film will be required first. Three Suns is set in Sweden in the Middle Ages. Some of the men have left to join the crusades, and the black death is a recent arrival. The film focuses on one woman who is waiting for news about her husband, Ulf. Upon hearing about his imminent return, she leaves her two children in the care of her father in law and sets out for the coast to meet him there. Without giving away too much of the slender plot, she meets various people, good , bad, generous, selfish, infectious, healthy, along the way.
Generically speaking, then, this is a road movie, the journey of a woman done very much in a woman's terms - and I think this is where so many of the negative reviews stem from, not out of conscious sexism, but from the terms on which this journey is carried out, its tempo, its motivation and its denouement. Without wishing to push a particular stereotype, I think it is possible to comprehend much of the action in terms of a womanly response to certain situations, complete with certain foibles like impatience, vanity, impulsiveness and the occasional lapse of logic. The action makes more sense when seen in this light, with the only caveat being whether a woman would have been permitted to behave in such a manner at such a time in history, or be allowed to express so openly her opinions and attitudes. As for the other characters, I found them utterly believable, especially insofar as superstition and selfishness surge forth when disaster seems imminent.
As for the actors, I thought they did well. I haven't seen many recent Swedish films, so wasn't thinking about how a particular actor or actress usually looked (something which also seems to have irked some reviewers). Nor was I particularly distressed by the wigs, having had the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy to get used to them. The clothing, buildings, carriages, and so on, all seemed authentic enough to my untrained eye. The scenery was lovely to look at, and in my mind was the high point of the film. As for the language, I was reading the subtitles, so the subtleties of older versus modern Swedish were not an issue for me - the language in the subtitles seemed appropriate enough, with no glaring lapses into modern idioms. The dialogue was fairly standard, with occasional humour. There is none of the pondering depth found in, say 'The Seventh Seal', set in a similar time and place, but there is enough to occupy the viewer in the simple human interactions. The music was standard, but pleasant, complimenting the action well.
For me, this was, at face value, an enjoyable film. It was hardly earth-shatteringly original, but was competently done, with the interesting setting and attractive photography making up for a relatively uncomplicated plot, and some unusualness regarding character actions and motivations, which I've examined in this review already. I'm glad I took a risk on this one, in spite of its incomprehensibly poor rating.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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