Three stories are told in `Tickets' directed by Ermanno Ormi, Abbas Kiarostami and Ken Loach. The entire film is set on a train going to Rome (except flashback scenes) and three stories are loosely connected to one another.
The film begins with Ormi's fantastic and romantic tale about an aged professor (Carlo Delle Piane) leaving Innsbruck, Austria. He feels romantically attracted to a secretary (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) he had just parted at the station and while he knows the train is carrying him further away from her, his memory about her becomes more vivid and sweet.
Next section is directed by Kiarostami. It is about a 25-year-old man Filippo accompanying a loud and arrogant widow (fantastic Silvana De Santis) going to her dead husband's memorial. Filippo, cheerless and obedient, meets teenage girls on the train who know him, and hears news about his former girlfriend. A good story of irony and reversal.
The third one is about three boisterous Celtic football fans (Martin Compston, William Ruane and Gary Maitland, all in Loach's `Sweet Sixteen') from Glasgow, Scotland. They are going to watch a Champions League game in Rome, but one of them discovers his train ticket missing. the incident leads to their meeting with Albanian refugees on the same train.
Three tales show the distinctive touch of each director: Ormi is romantic and spiritual, Kiarostami natural and introspective, and Loach humorous and forward-looking. All the stories are directed with the assured hand of the directors who know how to mix hope and pathos in a balanced way.
Perhaps you find the film is slow-moving, and Loach's story too optimistic. Still the film is well-acted and often funny (the dialogues between the Celtic supporters are amusing), and the characters and atmosphere of the film is so realistic.