Three Sisters – Reel Asian 2021

Three Sisters

Three Sisters – Reel Asian 2021

Three sisters in different damaged marriages and lifestyles, regrouped at their hometown for their father’s birthday, but their little brother’s abnormal behavior unraveled their own dark past.

Three Korean sisters in different social-economic situations come together for their father's birthday in . Jeon Miyeon () is a woman with a seemingly perfect life as a happily married choirmaster. On the other hand, Miyeon's younger sister Mi-Ok () is a barely functioning alcoholic and their older sister Hee-sook () is hiding a recent cancer diagnosis. The three sisters come together to celebrate their father's birthday and have to confront a truth from their childhood they have yet to come to terms with.

Three Sisters is a Korean drama by writer/director Lee Seung-won, which tells the story of three siblings, who have gone in wildly different directions in their lives. The stories of Miyeon, Mi-Ok, and Hee-sook are told relatively independently from each other, though there are some interactions, such as Mi-Ok drunkenly calling Miyeon and showing up unexpectedly at the latter's choir practice. The sisters don't really get together until late in the film when they gather for their father's birthday, during which time they have to confront a shared trauma from their childhood.

The issue that I had with Three Sisters is that it is an overly long film that doesn't really get to the main crux of the plot until the final half-hour when we are shown black and white flashbacks of the titular three sisters' childhood. The previous ninety minutes or so play out more or less like a soap opera, with plotlines that range from infidelity to alcoholism to melodramatic teenagers. While the story does come together by the end, I do wish that Three Sisters had a somewhat more engaging journey getting there.

Three Sisters is streaming as part of the virtual 2021 Reel Asian Film Festival

Trailer for Three Sisters – Reel Asian 2021

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.