Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5
Original Title: Tres
Spain/Lithuania/France, 2021. Axencia Galega das Industrias Culturais, Canal Plus, Crea SGR, Frida Nadir, Frida films, Generalitat de Catalunya – Departament de Cultura, Institut Català de les Empreses Culturals, Instituto de la Cinematografia y de las Artes Audiovisuales, M-Films, Manny Films, Nadir Films, Radio Televisión, Española, Televisio de Catalunya, Televisión de Galicia, Tres la Película, Xunta de Galicia. Screenplay by Pere Altimira, Juanjo Giménez Peña. Cinematography by Javier Arrontes. Produced by Luisa Romeo. Music by Domas Strupinskas. Production Design by Antonio Pereira. Costume Design by Arantzazu Domínguez. Film Editing by Cristóbal Fernández.
Marta Nieto is excellent as a character known only as C., a Madrid foley artist who is so devoted to her job that when she’s finished crunching leaves and smacking leather to create sound effects in films and television shows, she spends most nights sleeping in the studio. Her bosses are concerned that she is tiring herself out but she ignores them until her reels start coming back from the clients with notes that they’re out of sync. C herself has noticed that her hearing is suffering a strange phenomenon, when she claps her hands she hears it a fraction of a second later, the next day a full second later, and so on as the days pass and the sounds around her go so far offline that people mouth empty words at her that she hears minutes later. She goes to the doctor but is told her test results are fine and that it’s probably stress, but things get even stranger when C begins to be visited by the remnants of sounds that occur in spaces that she was never in, able to sit at a restaurant table and hear the entire conversation of the people who had been there hours earlier. Visiting her elderly, concerned mother reveals secrets of her youth, she apparently “heard” voices when she was a child and it has something to do with things she never knew about her origins. What starts out as a pleasurable indulgence in nostalgia for analog lovers suffering a digital world somewhat loses its path as it veers into Three Women territory by the end, never confident in its inclusion of supernatural story elements and more than a bit smug in its opting for obscurity by the conclusion. The beginning of the film is a delight with its scenes of foley work and watching C adjust knobs and play with her technical toys, but that is left behind as it switches from an exploration of one woman’s journey towards her power to an unnecessary allegory of surviving the modern world.
Toronto International Film Festival: 2021