Mark is a 47 year old accountant, who had missed his train to Paris and stuck for the night in a provincial town. Here he meets Sylvie, with whom he spends the night wondering the town's streets and falls in love. They do not exchange phone numbers, promise each other to meet in a week's time... Alas that does not occur. Unexpectedly, Mark meets Sophie, Sylvie's sister. He does not know that the two women are related and begins dating Sophie. It is not long until three hearts are locked in a triangle of passion, lies and an ultimate betrayal. What will be the collateral damage and what is the right choice to make, when wherever you turn you hurt someone?
Benoit Jacquot created a love triangle like no other - the movie is very dark even at the height of the positive moments in the characters lives. The main titles open with an alarming music, menacing piano cords that prepare you for a very tense viewing. This love story is shot like a thriller, with many moments of genuine fear. You do feel for the characters, and while it is easy to assess the wrong choices they make, it is also clear that being who they are they could not do otherwise.
Benoit Puelvoorde is in unlikely serious dramatic role. His Mark is a weak man who only shines when the light of the others reflect on him. He understand this, saying in the very beginning that the most important thing for him when he is involved with a woman is to be a part of her private life. Sylvie and Sophie are ready to provide this light, and in Mark they find the source of this magical feeling they could only dream of. Now they are ready to sacrifice everything for this ability to love. Mark's problem is that he feels too much, his inability making decisions changes when he is with the one he loves, but it only leads to more wrong decisions and inevitably to a disaster.
3 HEARTS is not a light viewing. It is not a short film, and some may find it slow, but the love triangle is done here like never before and the story feels fresh and engaging.
Although it is not a perfect movie: having a few redundant subplots (the downfall of a tax evasive mayor for example) and some loose ends, the story could have been a little cleaner and more focused. There is too much symbolism in the movie - the image of a lighter that has to be shaken and pushed hard to produce a flame and the antique mirror, that Sylvie had bought and never managed to sell, are overused, as If the director trying too hard make sure we understand how meaningful these objects are for a film. But all this can be forgotten for the originality in which the topic is presented and the ending, that may not be unexpected, but is ultimately satisfying.