Three Identical Strangers Blu-ray Review
I was given up for adoption shortly after I was born and was adopted by my parents at the age of 18 months. When I was old enough to be told my parents told me. It never bothered me because, as my father would say, “they chose me.” Of course, when you’re adopted you always wonder about the family you once had. I know I did. Especially when someone would approach me on the street or in an airport and think I was somebody else. “You’re the spitting image of them,” I would be told. Which always made me wonder if I had a twin out there.
I mention this because that is exactly what happened to a young man named David Kellman. On his first day at a small college in New York state, he is surprised at how friendly many of the other students are. High fives and “welcome back” greet him seemingly everywhere he goes. Once in his dorm room another student approaches him, giving him a big hug and calling him Eddy. Confused, David tells him he’s not Eddy. The young man is embarrassed. “You look so much like him.” After a few minutes of speaking they discover that both David and Eddy share the same birthdate, And they were both adopted. The young man drags David to a phone booth (for those of you under 30, a phone booth was a place one could go to make a phone call back in that ancient time before cell phones).from where they call Eddy. Soon they are in the car, heading to a meeting that will change the lives of many people. Some for the best. Others? Sadly, no.
An amazing story stitched together by fate, THREE INDENTICAL STRANGERS, as the title may tell you, is not about twins that re-discover each other but triplets. When news stories start circulating about a pair of brothers that found each other it wasn’t long before a young man named Robert Shafran saw the story on the news and thought to himself, “I look just like those guys.” The three brothers reunite and soon they are inseparable. They also become celebrities. It’s a story that should have a happy ending but there is much more to the story that won’t allow it to. To give away the reason would spoil the film as well as the gut-punch you’ll get when it is revealed.
This is easily not only one of the best documentaries of the year but I would place it high on my list of all time bests. Director Tim Wardle has presented a straight-forward look at three amazing lives and how they changed others while theirs were being changed as well.
In 2006, at the age of 45, I did find my birth family. I wasn’t a twin (or triplet) but I did gain ten brothers and sisters (I was the middle child – five older than me and five younger). Needless to say, it made my Christmas card list a little longer that year!
Video: The film is presented in its original 1:85.1 aspect ratio. Much of the archive footage is from early 1980’s television so the sharpness you’d expect isn’t always there.
Audio: The audio is in DTS Master Audio 5.1 and sounds good. Interview subjects are well miked.
Audio Commentary with Director Time Wardle and Editor Michael Harte
Q&A with David Kellman, Robert Shafran, Brenda Galland, Ellen Cervone, and Director Tom Wardle (11:08): From the opening night screening in New York City.