Third Star is a poignant, heart wrenchingly beautiful film about a young man named James who has Rhabdomyosarcoma and his camping trip with his three best friends. James is, as you might guess if you know me, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. His performance in this film is in stark contrast to this other major roles (Sherlock, Khan, et cetera), but he still does an astounding job, proving his acting prowess once again. In fact, his role in this film is probably one of my favourites of his to date.
Benedict does so well in this role that I felt all of his emotions as James as if they were my own. Well, as much as I can considering I don’t have his illness nor have I had an illness to this extent. But I still feel the anger he has towards the friends that seem like they aren’t doing anything with their lives and how he wants more time than he knows that he has got. The other emotions that he had I felt so severely…kind of like they were in my bones.
James takes liquid morphine for the severe pain caused by his cancer, and even more medication for the side effects from the morphine. He cannot walk far at all, and when he does walk he has to use a cane and has a severe limp as well. Thus, on the camping trip his friends must push him on a homemade cart that also holds their camping supplies.
The most harrowing scene comes near the end of the film— the best way I can describe it while not spoiling it and still staying coherent is that it felt like my heart had just been ripped out of my chest and was stomped on repeatedly. In short, the floodgates opened.
The directing and cinematography of this film are both beautiful and artistic. There is foreshadowing throughout the film, but the ending still left me shocked even though I had some inklings of what was ahead.
It’s actually incredibly hard to describe how much I love this film. The acting is so…real, and the directing, again, is beautiful. You should definitely watch this film. You’ll be filled with so much emotion, you may not even know what to do with it all, but it is completely worth it and you won’t regret it.