Twin Sisters


Twin Sisters is a good movie, but could have been great had it been more snappily directed, and developed more of the themes it only hinted at. In this respect, I guess it is a disappointment, although it does feature some excellent performances and lovely imagery.

De Tweeling is based on a Dutch novel by Tessa de Loo, and at times it feels like we’re stuck in a novel – the meandering nature of the direction is underwhelming at best. ‘What may have been’ kept striking me, and I only wish this has followed through on its promise! This story has elements that are heart-wrenching – the tale of two young twins, so alike and part of the other, who when separated yearn more than anything else to see each other again. Their differing experiences of youth, leading to their flawed and ultimately destructive subsequent meetings; there is much here for the lover of drama.

There are some moments of absolute beauty, the scene in the lake is the most striking. I wonder how I would have felt had these images been a recurring motif rather than seen and forgotten? The highlight however, are the uniformly excellent performances by the leading actors, particularly the two adult and two old-age performers. They bring an earnest endeavour, a heart and soul.

Thematic material is dense, and multi-layered… again striking one of the novel as a form – a film can often be too short to explore as much as a book, and this film suffers for trying too much. What is left is underdeveloped, and it could have been so much more! I have said that twice now, but it is truly my reaction to this film.

Whilst enjoyable and at times moving, it could have been more emotionally powerful, but for a lack of direction. Excellent performances can only carry a film so far.

Rating: 3.0 stars
Review by Mark Lavercombe, 1st January 1970
Hoopla Factor: 3.0 stars

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