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January 13, 2015 4:13 am  #221


Re: Third Star

Just finished Third Star and it was heartbreakingly good.  BC was... just magnificent, electrifying and so just perfect for this role.  I just hung on his every look, movement and word. He just ripped my heart out especially near the end. 

The rest of the cast was great too.  There was a ton of chemistry between all of them.  The banter between them seemed real and it was entirely believable that these four guys were close mates who had deep feelings for each other.  As the plot reaches each of the mounting crisis points you know that even if the bonds of their friendship is strained from time to time (and not a sunshine and roses one at that on occasion either) ultimately it didn't break when called upon by Jim to allow him to die with dignity.   

Dan was especially stirred by the whole story because it touched him (and me as well) in a very personal way - his brother died a very painful death (from a rare cancer) not long ago.  BC's performance brought up a lot of feelings of visiting his brother in the hospital as he wasted away with tubes hooked up to him as he drifted in and out of consciousness, sometimes recognising us and sometimes not.  It was a profoundly intense time for us, but Dan in particular - he and his brother were extremely close - and his brother's death changed him in a deep but subtle way.  I only wish Dan's brother had had the chance to do what BC's character did.  Go out of this life doing the things he loved with as clear as mind as possible with the people he cared about most. 

I loved the writing in this film. Jim's words still echo in my mind - his hopes, his regrets and his fears.  So moving and so true to the situation that the characters faced. 

Another really beautiful aspect of the film was the photograpyhy and camera work.  Just gorgeous. 

And the state of Jim's mind was so effectively presented with the rushing pressure sounds, the blurring camera focus and hand held camera usage.  I also loved the use of the intermittent scene of Jim in his hoodie looking out over the water (symbolising the decision process going through Jim's mind as he faced his fears and and his grim prognosis). 

There were so many good scenes to think about afterward.  Everyone of them gems. 

Definitely a keeper of a DVD and one that I will watch multiple times. 

One note of interest - the scavenger the boys meet on the rocky beach - Dan spotted it right away - is Lord Grantham of Downton Abbey!  And (confirmed by the Behind the Scene extras) Miles was the actor who was on another Cumberbatch movie - To the Ends of the Earth.  Small world.

And thanks to you on this thread, I came prepared with lots of tissues and a shock blanket, both of which were definitely needed. 

This movie again leaves me in complete awe at Benedict's range as an actor.  It just doesn't get any better than this.  I really don't think there is any limit to the man's talent and performance boundaries.  To watch him is pure pleasure - even when wiping away the tears and muffling my sobs.

-Val

Last edited by Ah-chie (January 13, 2015 5:06 am)


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January 13, 2015 1:01 pm  #222


Re: Third Star

So sorry for your loss Archie.  I hope that time will bring you and Dan peace.

I lost 3 relatives just last year, one of them my mom.  It will be a while before I can watch Thrid Star again.  Just couldn't take it right now.  But it absolutly is a beautiful meditation on life, death and grief.


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January 13, 2015 4:09 pm  #223


Re: Third Star

Thanks Tonnree.  Sorry for your losses as well.  It does take time to mute the pain of the absence of loved ones but the feeling of loss never goes away.  When my mom died a year after my dad (this happened about 12 years ago) it stunned me, even in the immediate grief I was feeling, when I realised that technically I was now an orphan.  A bit silly to think such a thing at my age but there you go - it was a spontaneous reaction.  

Both Dan and I are peace with his brother's death.  We have no regrets and we were lucky to have had a great relationship with his brother when he was alive.  That carries us through even with his passing.  But I do think the North American POV about the dying is so limiting on the whole (certainly not by many individuals, but I speak of the laws in my country governing the wishes of the dying to decide things for themselves).  It should, in my opinion, take a bit more leeway for circumstances like in the movie Third Star, when terminally ill people make a rational decision on how they want to die. 
 I know it isn't for everyone but Steve (that was Dan's brother's name) really didn't want to end up in a hospital ward lying in bed drugged up beyond recognition until he finally just dwindled away.  He reminded me so much of BC's character of James - full of passion, love and life - and he would have been the type to go out feeling something (as James said "I want to be conscious until I’m gone, I want to feel something even if it’s the pain of salt water in my lungs... I want to feel the fight. Something huge and terrifying and brave.") instead of just fading away. 
 Dan's brother's death changed Dan's outlook on the process of living.  He now has a much more adventurous spirit and believes in making the journey about the quality of your life - making things a little less ordinary every day (sometimes in big brave ways - sometimes in little intimate ways).  It's about surprising even yourself sometimes as well - making every day count.  Unlike James, Dan and I can't die young (we are both in our 60's) and we have accomplished much with our lives (he always wanted to write a book and now he has nine published titles).  Both of us are proud of our successes in life and don't regret a day. 
 James' predicament is all the more heart-wrenching because he was so young and felt like he hadn't lived up to his potential.  But as the film unfolds it is clear that he has something that is very precious to him - the loving bond with his mates that can carry him through to his death.  They give him strength and joy and make his last journey all worthwhile.  I feel so much empathy for James (and all the boys really).  It draws on so many universal emotions that breaks your heart and uplifts you all at the same time. 
 One of the things I like best about the movie is that James isn't a martyr - he is irritating sometimes, overly blunt and sometimes cruelly pointed.  He isn't a "goody two shoes" but he is very, very human and I love the portrayal of someone like that on screen. 
 I found the script of one of the later drafts of the film this morning and read it through - all the emotions I felt seeing it last night came flooding back and I woke Dan up with my sobbing.  He understood once I told him what I was reading. 
 It was cathartic and actually felt good.  Sad but good.
 I hope you do revisit the film sometime in the future (you are probably quite right not to do it too soon - you'll know when it is right for you).  When you do see it again, I think you will see that although the story is very sad it is also very healing and comforting in a way.  It touches a universal chord in all of us that tells us that death is a part of life and we need to understand it by exploring it on an emotional level.  And like the film shows sharing even frightful experiences with trusted loved ones helps everyone who passes along on this "journey". 
 -Val   


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February 15, 2015 1:42 pm  #224


Re: Third Star

I just watched Third Star, it's 12.40pm and I have to go to sleep now but I'm crying, it's such an emotionally devastating movie, I wish I hadn't watched it by myself late at night :-(


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February 15, 2015 2:16 pm  #225


Re: Third Star

That was my reaction as well the first time I viewed Third Star ukaunz.  Actually, it is still my reaction, even after the 50th time of watching it.  Just astounding how profound an impact it can have on me. 

-Val


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February 15, 2015 3:49 pm  #226


Re: Third Star

So sorry for your losses, Ah-chie and Tonnaree.... 

I need to watch this film again soon... I just need to gather courage. 
I know it will do me good to watch it actually; it offers a new perspective to the process of death and illness and not just for the patient but for the people around them.

I have watched it 4 times, and each time I find myself frozen, just staring at the screen shivering as the tears just won't stop.

I'm a kind of person who needs to plan her 'crying time'. (due to the way I was brought up I have a dysfunctional reaction pattern in public... when I'm supposed to cry I just smile and when exposed to pain I'll giggle...). It doesn't mean I can't cry... but for that I like to collect sad and moving films because I always feel like I can't get my emotions out otherwise. 

This is a gem in my collection... especially because the tears this cause come with a soft smile too. James got the freedom he so deserved... the freedom to choose. Under the sad circumstances this was the best thing for him.


I need a session with this film soon... I haven't yet had a cry about the last family member we lost to cancer. I even avoided the funeral. 
the last 7 years we lost half of the family to cancer and somewhere along the line I stopped going to funerals... when I was 21 I attended the funeral of my mother's cousins husband. I overheard the widow say that she felt sorry for a 'young girl like her (meaning me)' having to encounter so much death... I have tried to get out of every funeral since. I don't want them to think like that.

I think I'll watch this on Wednesday... 


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May 28, 2016 7:35 pm  #227


Re: Third Star

I've come back on here for a bit of advice.
As some of you know, my colleague was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Ideally, I would have liked her to see this film before her diagnosis.
But obviously, it is too late for that.
Basically, would it be too insensitive and a total no-no to make her a gift of the DVD now?
Would it just be no help at all and possibly make it worse?


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May 28, 2016 10:02 pm  #228


Re: Third Star

Hmm...that sounds like it might be a tough call.  I have heard the movie is rather sad, but watching a film or reading a book dealing with something you are going through, or something similar, can be helpful.  I'll let others weigh in since I haven't actually seen the film, but I wouldn't say it's that bad of an idea.  Do you think there's a way to ask her about it?


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May 28, 2016 10:04 pm  #229


Re: Third Star

Well I'm seeing her on Monday, so I'll see how she is and how she's coping etc.
This will actually be my first time of seeing her since her diagnosis, so I'm actually looking forward to it.
I hear all you're saying and agree with it...it's just for the ending.


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