Film Review: “Puzzle” (2018) ★★★★


Life is full of surprising events that occur mysteriously and questions that need to be answered. But what is certain about it is that it never has the complete piece of the puzzle that would give a satisfactory result unlike the puzzle itself, which is more content than anything else. Agnes had that talent to assemble jigsaw puzzles until she realizes it’s not the competition she must win, but assemble the lost pieces in her own family that kept her away from growing into who she always wanted to be.

Agnes (Kelly MacDonald) is married but not quite happily. She also has two sons, Ziggy and Dexter. Their daily life is as usual: Agnes prepares breakfast for the entire family, then they leave home for work. In the evening, they come home waiting for her to serve dinner. It seems she does not mind doing that. But all that changes when she finds courage to change the pace of her daily life which turns into a long term change, making her an absolutely different person.

We find Agnes celebrating her birthday. Despite such an important day, she manages to clean up the plate broken by her husband Lou. As she desperately tries to find the missing piece of it, either to glue it or just for the sake of satisfying her curiosity. We already know this woman is an exceptionally talented person whose only problem is her racing mind she is not fast enough to reach to.

For her birthday, aunt Emily gives Agnes a jigsaw puzzle of Montreal with one thousand pieces. There’s a very profound reason in having a Montreal jigsaw puzzle I am sure you will be anxious to learn. But to avoid providing any spoilers, this is something you should certainly find out by yourself. But once she finishes assembling the puzzle, she calls her aunt to learn where she got it from. But what she did not expect is that her curiosity will take her to New York City’s Puzzlemania store from where she finds the contact of a wealthy inventor, Robert (Irrfan Khan)  who looks for a partner to compete at the National Jigsaw Puzzle Championship.

Agnes is a very interesting and wicked character. Her mind is like a deep ocean, the more you dive in, the more information you extract from her. It’s fascinating how she manages to change over the course of the film so effortlessly. Her husband Lou is not a bad person. But he is one of those husbands that behaves more like a child without the woman and can barely do anything at home. But Robert is a whole different picture. He even says, “I solve puzzles as that’s the only way to control the chaos”, describing his mind which is as busy as Agnes’.


In conclusion, “Puzzle” is based on the Argentinian film “Rompecabezas” by Natalia Smirnoff but directed this time for the English-speaking audience by Marc Turtletaub, who manages to execute that slow-paced drama with a deeply profound meaning in English. Indeed, the film is about many things, but more importantly, it’s about the challenges we create for ourselves or are just there due to circumstances. However, it also shows that whatever the challenge, it can be solved in the exact same way as you would solve a puzzle. It’s just a missing piece that needs to be found to have it complete. And that’s why “Puzzle” is such an interesting piece to watch. Because it is exceptionally expressive and clear in what it tries to convey, which I am sure you will also find so beautifully moving.



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