Ray's Review: Puzzle


Rating: A-

Every once and awhile a movie comes along that gives you an interesting look at the human condition and I think the most recent movie I can say that has done that is the new film from Marc Turtletaub Puzzle. The film stars Kelly Macdonald, Irrfan Khan, and David Denman and gives us a look into the life of a simple woman wants more from her life than she realized. We meet Agnes (Macdonald) who spends her days caring for her unappreciative husband, taking care of her two grown spoiled sons, and living a very small town life. One day during her birthday party she receives a puzzle as a gift. The second she tries it and quickly finishes the 1000 piece item she is hooked. She ventures into New York City to purchase another one and while she is there she spots an ad for someone looking for a puzzle partner. Ona whim she decides to respond and she meets Robert (Khan) a divorced man who is looking for a puzzling partner to replace his now ex-wife an upcoming competition. The connection Agnes and Robert have is almost instant despite the fact they come from two very different worlds. Once Agnes gets a glimpse of life outside of her small world a slow change starts to happen for the quiet mild-mannered housewife as she slowly blooms into the woman she was always meant to be. 

I loved this movie. I gotta say it. I think anyone who has ever felt like they were stuck in their own life could relate to this film. Agnes and Louie's (Denman) marriage is a tough one to watch. Louie isn't a bad guy, but his possessive 1950's idea of what a wife's duties are are kind of sick. Anges is basically not allowed to have any life of her own. Even at the beginning of the film when her sons by her a smartphone and she can barely use it because she doesn't really use technology. The film is set in present-day 2018 and she has never had a real smartphone. That should put into perspective how small her life has become. She is almost not present in her own life. You really feel for her. As her relationship starts to grow with Irrfan you are both happy and conflicted about it. The more time she spends with him the more her own person she seems to become but in the back of your mind, you tend to worry she is just jumping from one controlling relationship to the next. Writers Polly Mann, Oren Moverman, and Natalia Smirnoff have done a great job developing these characters and giving us a story that feels real and refreshing at the same time. 

The acting from Kelly Macdonald is wonderful. She really shows her ability and range in the film. I loved seeing her character blossom and grow. When we finally get to the point of the film where she is truly asserting herself in situations you can't help but cheer her on. Especially when you know she deserves more than the life she is currently living. Because of all that we scored Puzzle with an A-. It was a very interesting film to see and it is always nice when Hollywood can give you a film that stands apart from the rest and make you think. Do yourself a favor and go see Puzzle. Who knows you may find yourself right alongside Agnes. 

You can check out Puzzle when it hits theaters n Houston August 10, 2018.

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