Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Everybody has a Plan, Especially Twins
would think paranoia would run deep amongst identical twins. That whole doppelganger possibility is just unnerving. One existentially morose pediatrician does
indeed assume his twin’s life under suitably shady circumstances in Ana
Piterbarg’s Everybody has a Plan (trailer here), which opens this
Friday in New York.
Agustín has no reason to be so miserable.
He has a thriving practice in Buenos Aires and an intelligent
professional wife. They are on the brink
of adopting an infant, but it is safe to say she is far more enthusiastic than
he. In fact, he rather precipitously puts
the kibosh on their plans, falling into a depressive stupor shortly thereafter. However, relief arrives in the unlikeliest
form when his prodigal twin Pedro unexpectedly pays a visit. Terminally ill, the deadbeat brother wants a
final favor from Agustín.
the grass-is-greener line of reasoning, Agustín takes Pedro’s place in the hardscrabble
Tigre Delta, but he did not exactly do his due diligence. Before long, Agustín learns in addition to
beekeeping, he is also now a part-time member of a ruthless gang of
kidnappers. Still, it is not all
bad. In fact, he quickly develops a
relationship with Rosa, the young woman who helps tend his hives.
really puts the “slow” in “slow burner.”
She drenches the noir-ish morality tale in swampy atmosphere, but her
pacing would generously be described as languid. Daniel Fanego provides a genuine sense of
menace as the sociopathic ringleader, Adrián, but our anti-hero is far more
inclined to rumination than action. Fortunately,
brooding and seething are definitely well within Viggo Mortensen’s power
zone. He keeps audiences vested and
focused, despite the film’s determination to takes its sweet time. However, the question remains, does his
morally problematic Agustín qualify as an “evil twin?”
Having lived in Argentina and Venezuela during
his early years, co-producer Mortensen is clearly comfortable with the language
and setting. Presumably, Piterbarg was
aiming for a rustic suspense vibe somewhat in the tradition of Night of the Hunter, but the result is
closer to contemporary Latin American art cinema, deeply rooted in its
environment, but elevating character and tone above plot and dialogue. Stylish but often maddeningly reserved, Everybody has a Plan is recommended
mostly for diehard fans of Mortensen and Argentine cinema when it opens this
Friday (3/22) in New York at the Angelika Film Center and the AMC Empire.
Labels: Argentine Cinema, Viggo Mortensen