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  • Don Ford

Don Reviews "Puzzle"

It is always interesting how people can take the their strengths and combine them with their passions. Whether it is using a knowledge of trivia to be on a game show or an affinity for words to construct crosswords, there seems to be something for everyone. Jigsaw puzzles are also something that takes a special talent to solve well, and director Marc Turtletaub uses this as a background for “Puzzle”.

Starring Kelly MacDonald (Boardwalk Empire), Irrfan Khan (Jurassic World), David Denham (13 Hours), Bubba Weiler (The Slap), Austin Abrams (Paper Towns), Liv Hewson (Before I Fall), and Lori Hammel (The Big Sick), “Puzzle” takes place in a small town outside New York City where Agnes (MacDonald), a housewife married to Louie (Denman) with two sons named Ziggy (Weiler) and Gabe (Abrams), lacks some social skills and self-esteem and is unappreciated for the work she does. For her birthday, she gets a jigsaw puzzle and realizes she has a real gift in being able to solve them. After she sees an ad for someone wanting a jigsaw partner for competitions, she meets Robert (Khan) and while training for an upcoming completion, they begin a relationship that helps Agnes deal with her family while having a relationship with someone who appreciates her more.

The film showed small town suburbs real well along with a few scenes that took place in New York showing great cinematography. There are basically only five characters in this film, with Khan doing a good job in his role as does Denham. When it comes to MacDonald, she plays a person on edge to make sure the things that need to be done are done on time and maybe lacking in social skills to the point of having have some of the characteristics of OCD.

If I have any issues here, it is that I would have liked to seen more of the puzzle solving than there was. Since this is more about relationships with puzzles as a side note, I understand but would rather have seen more of a balance. I did like the message of relationships, but it may have been too much and the message of how she handles her new self-esteem may have not been the best things from a morality perspective. At about an hour and forty-five minutes, I saw where maybe ten minutes could have been cut out, so I will still recommend the film as a matinee showing in the theaters.

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