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VINE VOICEon 14 May 2006
(or "All Roads Lead To Rome" )

"Tickets" is an intriguing film. It is set entirely on a train travelling from Innsbruck to Rome with three vaguely separate portions of the film directed by three different people. However "Tickets" is a coherent whole of a film and not three discrete episodes like ,say, Kieslowski's "Dekalog" and "Three Colours" films, with which it has much in common. Watching "Tickets" is a bit like watching a reality TV programme; the participants are unknowns, the dialogue is realistic and often seems improvised ,the environment is suffocating and cameras are everywhere. The three main strands of the film concern the reflections ,observations and philanthropy of a pharmaceutical consultant heading home by train after missing his flight, the frustrations of a young man escorting an elderly widow to a memorial service and the fractious relationship between a trio of foul-mouthed Glasgow Celtic supporters and a family of Albanian refugees. "Tickets" is a lot like a play and as in that art form there is a lot of emphasis placed on detailed characterisation ,character development and interpersonal relationships. I suppose the train and the travellers symbolise the New Europe; a hotchpotch of nationalities and classes all mixed together with little in common bar the positive human attributes of love, altruism and generosity which ,historically ,have always helped to keep the "show on the road" . "Tickets" highlights these unifying features through it's characters very well. For long periods nothing much of interest happens in "Tickets" ,but this does have the effect of helping the viewer to feel more like a voyeur as the film simulates accurately the passivity and tedium inherent in a long train journey. "Tickets" is an unusual film and several of the little dramatic vignettes contained within it were excellent , with my favourite one being the irritable exchanges between the Celtic fans and the Albanians.
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