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Before the Fall (2008)
"Tres días" (original title)

 -  Crime | Drama | Sci-Fi  -  25 April 2008 (Spain)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,633 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 68 critic

The world learns that a planet killing meteorite will arrive in 72 hours.


, (original story), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Víctor Clavijo ...
Mariana Cordero ...
Eduard Fernández ...
Elvira de Armiñán ...
Ana de las Cuevas ...
Juan Galván ...
Daniel Casadellà ...
Vicente Romero ...
Pepe Salas ...
Cura Don Miguel
Antonio Dechent ...
Miguel Zurita ...
Asunción Ayllón ...
Sebastián Haro ...
Sargento Atienza
Cachito Noguera ...
Nani Jiménez ...


The world learns that a planet killing meteorite will arrive in 72 hours.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The world will end in 72 hours. Can one man save his own small piece of it? See more »


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Release Date:

25 April 2008 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Three Days  »

Filming Locations:


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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Best Feature Film Award in the Trieste International Science-Fiction Film Festival (Italy) "Because of his rich analysis of human morality in the context of extreme conditions". See more »


Clara: If you keep moving, you don't stop. If you stop, it traps you.
Lucio: Cement.
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Le Tourbillon
Written by 'Boris Bassiak' (as Bassiak)
Performed by Jeanne Moreau
See more »

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User Reviews

The end is near! So stay alive so you can die.
3 December 2008 | by (France) – See all my reviews

The 72 hours before a comet strikes is just enough time to launch a cult film about the struggle of good versus evil. This film may not go far with the Euro-Film-Fest Seventh-Art crowd, but it will definite have legs to stand on for a long time.

3 Días or Three Days (US title) or Before the Fall, (international title), examines the actions of a man stressed almost to the breaking point by outrageous fortune. It is directed by F Javier Guttiérez, and written by him and Juan Velarde. This is a period of three days before the end of the world, in a small town in Spain. What would the general population do if they knew the Earth would be destroyed in three days? You'll have to do most of the imagining yourself, because the film only gives a glance at what is happening in the outside world. This film focuses on one man's efforts to save his family from evil of others in the microcosmic environment of an isolated area of the Spanish interior.

The film is very well made, but the philosophical incongruities of this film's premise undercut the experience for me. It is an odd study of human nature, that this man has no time to ponder his own life, his own personal disappointments and philosophy, but must spend the last 72 hours of existence in this primitive struggle against evil. However, despite the peculiarity and perhaps improbable behavior of the protagonist, it is filmed with subtlety. The land seems timeless, the sun searingly close and the wind explosive. The direction is also excellent, not only for the major characters but for everyone that comes before the camera, and the people are dangerous and inscrutable and very cinematic. In keeping with the apocalyptic theme, there are some bloody scenes, though none are particularly gruesome. The scenes of violence against young children, however, are difficult to take.

Victor Clavijo plays the part of Alejandro with amazing energy and emotional involvement. This is acting that is worthy of award attention, but although the film was considered in the pre-selection for the European Film Awards in 2008, it did not make it to the final round. It is the kind of acting that usually gets ignored at the European Film Awards: physicality and pathos don't play well across the European cultural divide. It was also produced by Antonio Banderas, an important figure in international cinema with the smell of Hollywood about him, not exactly considered an eau de cologne at EFA. Add to that its aura of genre film, kind of sci-fi, fantasy and El Mariachi cultish. It is easy to see why the film has been totally ignored for EFA awards in 2008.

The screenplay, written by the director Guttiérez and Juan Velarde, won the Best First Screenplay award at the Málaga Film Festival, and that, I would say, is about as far as the awards should go for this script, since the script is probably one of the weakest elements here. It effectively sets up the situation and develops the tension in an exciting way, but there are the usual lapses of logic that occur when a European auteur film has not gone through a thorough review. Who are the violent criminals in the early scenes? Why does the grandmother wander away? Why would the children accept this situation without question? These are irritating problems that could have easily been fixed with some more careful scripting.

In general, it is a satisfying genre film, an action-slash-slasher film in an unusual setting, and it serves to introduce Clavijo, a well known Spanish TV actor, to the international cinema. Though it is not my cup of tea, I think this film will continue to attract viewers for years to come as it spreads beyond Europe just below the radar.

11 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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