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Everybody Has A Plan (Todos Tenemos Un Plan) (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner31/05/2013

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 118 mins

Disappointing, slow-moving Argentine thriller that starts well but fails to do anything interesting with its intriguing premise, despite a pair of impressive performances from Viggo Mortensen.

What's it all about?
Directed by Ana Piterbarg, Everybody Has A Plan (or Todos Tenemos Un Plan, original title fans) stars Viggo Mortensen as Agustin, a withdrawn Buenos Aires doctor whose wife Claudia (Soledad Villamil) is pressuring him to adopt a child. When his estranged twin brother Pedro (also Mortensen) shows up on his doorstep, informs him that he's dying of cancer and then dies in his flat, Agustin impulsively decides to assume his twin brother's identity.

Returning to their childhood home in the swampy Tigre delta, Agustin realises that his bee-keeping brother was involved in a shady kidnapping racket with their childhood friend Adrian (Daniel Fanego), who expects their criminal activity to continue. And as if that wasn't bad enough, Agustin complicates things still further by falling for Pedro's bee-keeping assistant Rosa (Sofia Gala), who quickly figures out that he's a different man.

The Good
Mortensen (who apparently spent his formative years in Argentina) delivers a pair of strongly internalised performances in his dual roles as Pedro and Agustin, revealing very little and leaving the audience to guess at the exact nature of Agustin's deeper motivation (a darkly amusing later scene hints at the full deterioration of his relationship with Claudia). There's also strong support from both Fanego (effectively chilling) and Gala, who's seemingly the only warm-hearted character in the entire film.

The film is strikingly shot throughout, with Piterbarg and cinematographer Lucio Bonelli creating a strong sense of place and making good use of their swampy locations (the film would make an interesting swamp-based double bill with Jeff Nichols' Mud).

The Bad
Unfortunately, having established such an intriguing premise, Piterbarg fails to do anything interesting or engaging with it and the film slows to a painful crawl, seemingly refusing to push the story any further. Similarly, Agustin's enigmatic nature eventually becomes frustrating (the title, presumably, is ironic), since we're offered no credible reason why he would prefer Pedro's potentially life-threatening situation to, say, divorcing his wife and continuing to live in the city (In this respect, it would help if Mortensen and Gala had convincing chemistry, but that fails to materialise).

On top of that, the film has other problems, such as the abrupt disappearance of Vilamill's character or a flashback that hints at why Agustin left the delta in the first place, but isn't referred to again.

Worth seeing?
Everybody Has A Plan (Todos Tenemos Un Plan) is essentially a thriller without thrills, despite its promising set-up. Mortensen's twin performances give the film a certain curiosity value but the end result is disappointing.

Film Trailer

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Content updated: 24/10/2017 08:30

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