Ana Piterbarg’s Argentinean drama, Everybody Has a Plan, may be lying as I struggled to detect a clear plan in it whatsoever.
Everybody Has a Plan follows Agustin, a middle-class man who seeks an escape from the confines of his life and family. The arrival of his criminal and terminally ill twin brother, Pedro, provides that escape. Agustin murders Pedro, yet soon becomes embroiled in his deceased brother’s criminal past.
The main issue with Everybody Has a Plan, is the sheer lack of narrative drive and focus with the feature lethargically dragging from one scene to another. A narrative involving the relationship between twins should be thrilling (Just look at Dead Ringers, or even Van Damme’s Douple Impact), but this only receives around ten minutes of screen time here. Instead we see Agustin venture to rural Argentina and lay low in a shack, for what feels like an eternity.
Quiet, low-energy narratives can work if building a sense of foreboding or with the aim of escalating to something more substantial, however this never seems to arrive in Everybody Has a Plan. Pitebarg’s feature lacks any sense of atmosphere or passion, and I struggle to interpret exactly what sort of audience this is aimed at. Surely it is not Viggo Mortensen fans? Mortensen is the least-engaging that I’ve ever seen him , in a performance void of depth or sense of natural charisma. Whilst in this mode, Mortensen struggles to carry the film independently, instead simply merging into the scenery.
Pitebarg does successfully capture the picturesque quality of the rural Argentina, showcasing the rural shacks set amidst the gloomy canals. However, this is unlikely to maintain your interest for the somewhat bloated 118 minute runtime.
Despite high hopes, Everybody Has a Plan lacks any narrative drive, simply trundling along at a snail’s pace. A flat performance from Mortensen and lack of atmosphere, further the tedious nature of Piterbarg’s feature.
Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Soledad Villamil, Daniel Fanego
Director: Ana Piterbarg
Certificate: 15 (UK)
Release: 10th May 2013 (UK)21st February 2013 (Glasgow Film Festival)