Film Reviews 2013

Everybody Has A Plan Review


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© 20th Century Fox/Haddock Films.
Since his breakout role in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Viggo Mortensen has sought out ever more arthouse films with the likes of A History Of Violence, Eastern Promises, Good, The Road and A Dangerous Method. But then he's always had an arty bent, with the writer/painter/photographer/publisher of poets being fluent in Danish and Spanish. The latter talent gets a work out in this debut from Argentinian director Ana Piterberg.

Pedro (Mortensen) ekes out a meagre living as a beekeeper on a remote island off Argentina. Dying of cancer, Pedro makes his way to Buenos Aires to his twin brother, Agustin (also Mortensen), whom he hopes will end his suffering before it gets all too much by asking his brother to kill him. After the initial shock of the request, Doctor Agustin, who suffers from depression and has just split from his wife, sees this as a chance to start anew. He fulfils Pedro's wish and returns to his island home to assume his brother's identity. However, before he left the island, Pedro was involved in a murder, which muddies Agustin's transition into a new life?

Everybody Has A Plan, as you can see, has a cracking idea for a film and its opening half delivers on the promise. Ana Piterbarg, who co-wrote the script, displays patience in her measured pace, diving into character and motive rather than speeding along the plot. The romance between Agustin and Pedro's beekeeping assistant (Gala), which was previously a platonic relationship, is nicely dealt with. It can smack of Sommersby from time to time but Piterbarg doesn't put the emphasis on the romance and concentrates more on the ramifications of the murder.

The problem there is the murder story isn't all that interesting and, in truth, Piterbarg doesn't seem all that interested in it either. What gets her attention, and what holds ours, is how great Mortensen is. He works hard to make it look effortless but it's hard playing three characters: Pedro, Agustin and Agustin-as-Pedro, which is different again.

After the intriguing opener the story just fades away. Mortensen's performance, however, might just be worthy of the admission price.

Rating: ***
Last edited: 10 August 2013 20:08:47