LA TERCERA ORILLA || 2014, Argentina || DRAMA || Directed by – Celina Murga / Written by – Gabriel Medina, Celina Murga / Produced by – Fernando Abadi, Alexander Djeranian, Diego Dubcovsky, Inés Gamarci, Ineke Kanters, Jaime Mateus-Tique, Celina Murga, Peter Rommel, Martin Scorsese, Julia Solomonoff, Jan van der Zanden, Guusje van Deuren, Juan Villegas / Cinematography – Diego Poleri / Editing by – Eliane Katz / Production design – Sebastian Rosés / Starring – Alian Devetac, Daniel Veronese, Gabriela Ferrero / Running time: 92 mins.
Not even Martin Scorsese’s endorsement of the film was enough to promote The Third Side of the River significantly on an international scale. While Celina Murga’s film is a worthy addition to the angry young man subgenre, its story is fundamentally unoriginal and there are far few moments for it to particularly stand out among others of the kind.
The film is very character driven, centred on Nicolas (Alian Devetac), a young man who despite his quiet and introverted nature, is strong willed to the point of being the glue that holds his broken family together. We get the impression that this is because of a lack of a credible father figure in his life. In fact, as the film progresses, his opposition to his father becomes more and more evident, but never truly comes to the surface until its somewhat unwarranted but satisfactory ending.
The passivity of the character of Nicolas can a times be frustrating as well as disorienting. This however conveys the approach director Murga opts for in order to construct a more authentic picture.
There are some stand out moments that alter the otherwise dull advancement of the story, such as a karaoke scene in which Nicolas, along with his sister, sing an Argentinian pop tune. This is a rare moment in the film in which he seems to let go. In another more psychologically dense scene, his father takes him to a night club, where he sits awkwardly as he watches his father try to use him as a wing man in what we assume is one of his regular adulterous escapades. Nevertheless, by restricting his character’s outbursts, The Third Side of the River remains a slow burner that is bound to frustrate the average viewer. – 3/5