Over and over again
(this review contains spoilers)
Triangle is not a great movie, but it definitely had the potential to be one. The script is actually quite good, it forces the viewer to pay close attention to the events, it surprises and it is engaging. The movie has many flaws, but the effort the creators made needs to be appreciated, it was quite some time since I've seen such deliciously confusing and original and refreshing thriller.
The main heroine is Jess, strange waitress who has an autistic child. She goes on a boat trip with the guy who's hitting on her and his friends. She is very weird and has good reason for it – but at the beginning the audience is kept in the dark. Suddenly, when they are on open sea strange and sudden storm causes the boat to trip over and the passengers of Triangle are left alone, with no help coming. But then strange ship appears and they get on board.
The remark about this is made pretty early in Triangle, as well as the name of the ghostly sheep - Aeolus - the ruler of winds in Greek mythology. After some time, we realize that Jess is caught in the loop, but I made the connection to Sisyphus very late, only by the end of the movie. Jess is forced to relive the situation on the boat and the ship, over and over again, presumably trying to save her son, who is killed in car accident, caused by her. We only see 3 loops and for me that's the biggest flaw and for others, I'm sure, it maybe the biggest asset of the story. There is simply too much left for interpretation – there are clues, but not enough to make sense of entire film.
We see bodies of seagulls, bodies of Sally, which suggest that events happened many times. But why did Jess get to the car in the first place? Why does she gets on Aeolus? Why does she go to the marine? There are answers, but they are either flawed or completely made up by the viewer. It seems Jess forgets she is dead and in the loop whenever she sleeps. Then why does she go to sleep in the first place? As for boarding both Triangle and Aeolus she tries to rescue her son. But still had she not slept, had she finally stayed home with him instead of driving to the marina...The only solution I see lies in the character of the taxi driver, who seems to be some kind of Ferryman – she doesn't go back to the cab and cheats him, just like Sisyphus cheated Death in the myth. Therefore she is punished. Is the Ferryman there each time? Is he only at the scene of the accident or can he magically appear everywhere?
I read people interpret this movie in many ways – I agree with the loop theory. Other ones include the idea that Jess is crazy and kills everyone and then has delusions. I'm sure that's a reasonable guess given that movie pays tribute to The Shining many times – messages on the mirror, the ballroom and number 237.
There are many people who I'm sure don't want to spend days making sense out of films. If that is the case, watching Triangle may be a little boring. The movie has many suspenseful scenes and works as a thriller, but I think the most attractive side of the story is trying to understand it. However the atmosphere is quite spooky and the movie is very well done – the storm scene is great and the cinematography is fantastic and gives rather unique feel to the film.
I love it when the main heroine is fragile looking, petrified blonde carrying around something deadly. It works – look at Naomi Watts in The Ring, Nicole Kidman in The Others, Kate Hudson in Skeleton Key and here Melissa George. I like her, although she is not much of an actress. But she has pretty good experience with that particular genre - Amityville Horror, 30 days of Night and now this. I saw few of her films and this is definitely her best performance. She is credible and she is perfectly cast. Her character is very interesting, conflicted, she gets to portray many different emotions throughout the film. After seeing her in something as bad as Grey's Anatomy (with all due respect to fans of the show, but playing indie music during operations and having every character sleep with other characters can be pushed to such extremes even I cannot take it) I was quite impressed with her work here.
The movie could have been great, but it is still a good thriller. If you find the action boring you can focus on the plot, if trying to figure out the plot will bore you, you can always get a little scared. Very interesting idea for the movie, but wasted one.
Triangle (2009, 99 min)
Plot: The story revolves around the passengers of a yachting trip in the Atlantic Ocean who, when struck by mysterious weather conditions, jump to another ship only to experience greater havoc on the open seas.
Director: Christopher Smith
Writer: Christopher Smith
Original Music: Christian Henson
Cinematography: Robert Humphreys
Stars: Melissa George, Joshua McIvor and Jack Taylor