RSS
 

Puzzle

26 Aug

Puzzle – directed by Marc Turtletaub. Family Comedy/Drama. 105 minutes Color 2018.
★★★★★
The Story: A Bridgeport housewife, dully resigned to drudgery and a domineering husband and two sons, devotes her unused mind to jigsaw puzzles, and her speed at them takes her to an enlightenment.
~
In the quiet, dun space of this film’s inevitable start we face woman so speechlessly put upon it is hard to sympathize with her. The actress seems too young for the part (she’s exactly the right age, for the character has never matured) and not particularly original in it (which turns out to be just right, for that is her tragedy). Nor do we witness a single spark of temperament from her. Nor do we have before us an actress we have ever seen before, Kelly Macdonald, so we have no expectation to hold out for. Her life is a cardigan.

All this changes as she starts to lie to her husband about partnering up with an ace jigsaw player from Greenwich Village. He’s played by the luscious Irrfan Khan, whose deep voice, voluptuous lassitude, and oceanic eyes pose dangers on the spot. Wow! What’s going to happen here!

The story unfolds on the levels of her practice sessions with him, as she sneaks down to Manhattan to prepare for a jigsaw meet, deceiving the family to whose expectation of her servitude to them she is in careful but triumphant infidelity. She starts missing grocery shopping for her husband’s cheese and forgets to make a meal. For these sins the Catholic Church has no forgiveness.

Cast adrift in her own soul, she bit by bit awakens to her own wits. And the story is the story of a human being who unfolds and spreads wings it never knew itself to possess. The actual colors on those wings we the audience never expect her to possess either. We laugh aloud as each one declares itself.

The film is a comedy of character in the truest sense of the word: the humor is about how a typical character is really an atypical human. The story is held in the counterchecks of perfect balance as the great force of habit in her plays against various other forces, financial, marital, maternal, and amorous, that bloom in her sense of possibilities.

Perfectly cast and acted and directed and told. No car chase, 45, garroting, nudity, incest, rape, bomb, or dystopia. What a relief! Just a good story well told as the serious comedy it is.

 
Comments Off on Puzzle

Posted in ACTING STYLE: AMERICAN REALISTIC

 
 
Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button Technorati button Reddit button Myspace button Linkedin button Webonews button Delicious button Digg button Flickr button Stumbleupon button Newsvine button