Movie review by Andrea Karen Hammer
Puzzle, a 2018 movie about a woman searching for her personal identity and independence, will particularly appeal to jigsaw enthusiasts. However, film lovers and those trying to snap the pieces of their lives together in new configurations will also find the movie deeply intriguing.
Kelly Macdonald plays the protagonist, Agnes, with the quiet expressiveness of the strongest actresses of our time like Meryl Streep. From furrowed brows reacting to mystifying comments from her new puzzle partner, Robert (Irrfan Khan), to shadows crossing her face during struggles with her husband, Louie (David Denman), Kelly Macdonald portrays Agnes as a woman engulfed in turmoil. As a wife and mother of teenage boys who is trapped in a 1950s time warp caring for others, she finally discovers her own forte completing jigsaw puzzles quickly, which leads to a national competition.
New Romance: Mystical Powers and Playful Spirit
As her puzzle partner, personal confidence-building guide and new romantic interest, Robert (Irrfan Khan) encourages Agnes to walk toward this new life for not entirely unselfish reasons. After his wife and previous puzzle partner left him, the wealthy inventor seems lost and lonely in his huge house, where he implores Agnes to stay overnight. With searing looks that could melt a candle without a match, Irrfan Khan‘s enchanting mystical powers and playful spirit open the door to a new life.
Traditional and Stifling World Starts to Crumble
Agnes’ marriage as a young woman to Louie has taken a stifling turn, based on her husband’s traditional expectations. Adding complexity to a role that could be treated as one dimensional, David Denman visibly reveals Robert’s heartfelt love for Agnes during a camping scene, time at their lake house and removal of a symbolically broken dish piece from her foot.
However, when Agnes can no longer perform duties like expected food shopping and timely meal preparation, Louie looks shattered as his world starts to crumble–and he is forced to change.
Alternative Ending in Bonus Material and Other Preferences?
Along with other unexpected announcements including one son’s interest in attending a non-traditional culinary school, Puzzle is a completely absorbing movie about a family in the midst of crisis and change. With an alternative ending offered in the bonus material, this movie leaves viewers longing for other preferred conclusions.
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