Everybody Has a Plan Reviews
(2013) Everybody Has A Plan/ Todos tenemos un plan
(In Argentinian with English subtitles)
The movie starts with a blatant ransom, kidnapping gone wrong on some impoverished swamp island area, involving the owner of a small convenience store called "El Dorado" where Adrián's mentally challenged godson, Rubén (Javier Godino) is unable to keep the captor's blindfold on, forcing Adrián (Daniel Fanego) to shoot the captive dead instead of letting him go alive since the captive can easily identify them to authorities. Pedro (Viggo Mortensen) was also there, but was only a witness to the whole incident since the guy that doing the kidnapping and the killings are friends of his, who also makes a living selling honey. The movie then jumps to the city, and this time viewers are seeing a "different" kind of Viggo Mortensen character, and this time he appears to be a family physician of some sort, except that his wife, Claudia(Soledad Villamil) expected him to help her adopt a child which he's not too enthusiastic about. And it appears that he is also not the same person viewers saw earlier either for his name is Agustín and he happens to be a twin, as Pedro appears right at his doorstep since he finds out he is dying, filling him to what's been happening to him as of late. Because Agustin's wife had just separated from him, she's also planning to sell the apartment they were living in. And it is then the movie dwells on circumstances that could've worked had this film been shorter, but to viewers it's all been done before and better. I also find it convenient that once the police stopped looking for suspected murderer, Adrien that he would plan another ransom kidnapping ransom, again around the same area. Like there's no "wanted" poster signs anywhere. Like what are the odds of that happening, otherwise both the police as well as the open public in this movie are viewed as incompetent. Normally, wanted suspected felons go from state to state or city to city- they don't hang around on one area just because they can be caught.
2 out of 4 stars
'Everybody Has a Plan' is a movie whose protagonist finds himself in an unfamiliar situation, but it's also made by people themselves working in foreign territory. Mortensen, pulling a "Kristin Scott Thomas", gives a performance entirely in his second language, Spanish. Piterbarg is a female writer-director making a movie about emasculation, both literally and figuratively (The impotent Augustin embraces his macho twin's tough lifestyle). The plot feels like a combination of Antonioni's 'The Passenger' and Hitchcock's 'Strangers on a Train', with the existentialism of the former struggling to share a bed with the thrills of the latter, resulting in a film that can't decide whether it's a crime thriller or a meditation on masculinity.
Neither element is explored to a satisfactory degree, with little in the way of either plotting or character development. Augustin's motivations are sign-posted through a quick scene where some noisy toddlers get on his nerves. (Sure, kids can give you a headache but it hardly seems enough motivation for committing fratricide and changing your entire identity.) For a movie written and directed by a woman, its female characters are given particularly short shrift. The subplot involving Augustin's wife is rendered pointless by her indifference. I rarely condone remakes but this is a case where a more experienced film-maker could likely craft something impressive from this bizarre but thrilling scenario. While ultimately her ego is writing checks her talent can't cash, Pitarbarg has made a film that's an indulging enough watch (thanks mainly to Mortensen and the sleazy charm of Fanego), but one which should be so much more.
The film is set in Buenos Aires, plus a depressed island in the Delta; Agustin cloaks himself in the guise of his brother, Pedro, and the nonsensical scenario of crime, subterfuge, malfeasance is dumped upon a naive audience who ventured into this flick to witness Mortensen's proficiency, loquaciousness in the Spanish tongue; receiving a passing grade in Spanish 101, but unworthy of viewer attendance.
ONE & 1/2 STARS!!