The Three Men, She Loves, directed by Maung Myo Min has an A-list cast and a woman protagonist, a rarity in Myanmar films. Although the English subtitles has wrong spellings and vague translations here and there, yet the film makes sense in Myanmar way.
A woman named Thamudaya (Eaindra Kyaw Zin) is the heroine of the story. When the film begins with the childhood of Thamudaya in retro-style shots, her father (Yan Aung) cheats on her mother (Moh Moh Myint Aung) as she is bedridden because of the stroke. The drama ensues when his mistress demands to marry her, else she will sue him (the Myanmar law allows a woman to sue a man if he has sex with her under a pretence he will marry her).
The wheelchair-bound mother follows the mistress’ home together with Thamudaya. When the little girl is being harassed by the mistress, the mother begins to walk out of the wheelchair (adrenaline rush, perhaps?). Then, the father who happens to be inside the house comes out to a surprise that his wife is able to walk again.
Long story short, the father breaks up with the mistress and comes back to his family. I am not clear whether it is because he realises he only loves his wife or his wife regains her health so that he does not have to take out her sexual needs on his mistress anymore. It is also disappointing that the mistress does not put up a fight (maybe because the guy pays her off?).
The little Thamudaya grows up to be a beautiful young lady (Eaindra Kyaw Zin) in two cuts. I find the scene where her senile father and blind mother tell jokes to ease the daughter’s anxiety for their deteriorating health. Then Thamudaya’s voiceover narrates that her parents have passed away consecutively in the next cut and I feel her childhood is shot in a rush.
Then a grownup Thamudaya falls in love with a guy who is her off-screen husband (Pyay Ti Oo) with whom she marries and raises a family. He is the second man she loves the most and obviously the third, her son.
The acting is convincing, given the fact that the film is led by mature, award-winning stars. The new faces are also doing their best, so there is nothing to complain about the performance department. The problem comes out when the character development is pointed out. There is not much plot to talk besides the protagonist struggling with the affairs of her most-loved men. It also does not explain how Thamudaya and her family afford a fancy lifestyle, except a shot hinting that Thamudaya runs a gold shop in her young-adult years.
Overall, the film shows a typical Myanmar woman’s life. Do not expect to see a woman climbing up the career ladder and social ranks here, but a woman being a good daughter, a wife and protective mother which is a kind of woman the society expects all Myanmar women to be.
Watch the trailer below and showtime here.