EVERYBODY HAS A PLAN
On the eve of adopting a baby with his wife Claudia (Soledad Vallimil), Agustín (Viggo Mortensen), abruptly changes his mind, causing Claudia to leave him. As Augustin wastes his life away and withdraws into himself in their Buenos Aires apartment, his identical twin brother Pedro (Viggo Mortensen) turns up, dying of cancer. After Pedro's death, Agustín decides to start a new life, adopting Pedro's identity and returning to the mysterious region of the Delta, in the Tigre, where they lived when they were boys. However, Agustín finds himself unwillingly involved in the dangerous criminal world that was a part of his brother's life.
Review by Louise Keller:
The enigmatic metaphor involving changing the queen bee when the beehive does not work might alert our curiosity at the beginning of this Spanish language thriller but never delivers on its promise despite the presence of Viggo Mortensen in dual roles. The first feature by writer director Ana Piterbarg, Plan is a curious film that has a few fine moments and builds up to an interesting crescendo, but the plot is patchy with many things unexplained, leaving us indifferent.
The plot involves kidnapping, ransom, murder - although we do not know who or why or indeed anything at all about the characters involved. The opening sequences set in Tigre in which we meet Pedro (Mortensen, in scruffy mode) attending to a hive of bees with Rosa (Sofia Gala) and associating with nasty types make little sense until a little more information comes to light in nearby Buenos Aires. There we find Mortensen looking less dishevelled and cleanshaven as Agustín, a doctor whose life does not appear to be simple either, locking himself in his room after a major conflict with Claudia (Soledad Villamil) his wife of 8 years. The scene in which Pedro and Agustin meet is pivotal to the exposition and by this time, Agustin has also grown a beard.
There is tension as Agustin returns to Tigre trying to assume Pedro's identity without raising suspicion. Everybody's plan begins to be revealed. A relationship begins with Rosa (Sofia Gala), the girl he calls 'Baby'; bass ass Adrian (Daniel Fanego) has evil intentions and his godson Rubén (Javier Godino) is allegedly an idiot. But what is Agustin's plan, having jumped headlong into his twin brother's life and everything it entails? Perhaps the film's most interesting scene is the one when Claudia confronts Agustin (in his guise of Pedro).
There are a few jumpy edits, poor continuity and confusing moments and Piterbarg allows us to occasionally escape from the film's reality. The music glides from monotone to pounding rhythms and there is some memorable imagery including a beautiful sunset river shot and peering up at the blue sky through blaze coloured leaves. But the climactic scenes lack the required oomph and overall the film fails to satisfy.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
For reasons that are never explained, Buenos Aires paediatrician Agustin (Viggo Mortensen) makes a dramatic backflip about adopting a baby, immediately after seeing it for the first time, with his happily excited wife Claudia (Soledad Vallimil, excellent). He slumps into a sullen mood as she walks out. This is already a challenging start for audiences as we are left in something of a limbo - both in character and story terms. Still, one hopes the film would eventually provide some rationale ... but it doesn't. And even if it did, it would remain a rather disabled story built on a rather thin concept of twins swapping lives.
Or at least one twin taking the place of another, unaware of what a mess he's walking into. The character of Agustin doesn't gel, and Mortensen's low voltage performance - with the exception of two violent scenes - adds to the film's lumbering tone.
What dramatic interest there is comes from the appealing performance of Sofia Gala as the young Rosa, whose affections attach to Agustin/Pedro - she isn't aware which one he is. It is Rosa who is determined to live her life with the plan to be nice to everybody. Also notable is Daniel Fanego as the badass Adrian, who is the catalyst for the eventual resolution.
The other element worthy of note is the cinematically outstanding use of the unusual location in the Argentinean bush, with its unique waterway setting. But the screenplay seems underdeveloped, as do the key characters of Pedro and Agustin, and there is little about the story that is engaging as a result.
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EVERYBODY HAS A PLAN (MA15+)
Todos tenemos un plan
CAST: Viggo Mortensen, Soledad Villamil, Daniel Fanego, Javier Godino, Sofia Gala
PRODUCER: Viggo Mortensen, Mariela Besuievski, Vanessa Ragone
DIRECTOR: Ana Piterbarg
SCRIPT: Ana Piterbarg
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Lucio Bonelli
EDITOR: Irene Blecua, Alejandro Lazaro
MUSIC: Lucio Godoy, Federico Jusid
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Mariela Ripodas
RUNNING TIME: 113 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Rialto
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 27, 2013
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.