Edinburgh International Film Festival 20th June – 1st July 2018 / 72nd year
Opening Night – Movie ‘Puzzle’
Director: Marc Turtletaub
Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Irrfan Khan
Always exciting, always fun and delighted to say a lovely clear night as we arrive at The Festival Theatre for the European Premier of ‘Puzzle’…
The theatre is buzzing and full of interesting people! (who doesn’t enjoy a spot of ‘people watching’)
Mark Adams, Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival takes the stage to greet the audience and to introduce the movie’s director Marc Turtletaub and Scotland’s very own Kelly Macdonald – she received a lovely warm Edinburgh Welcome.
Kelly Macdonald plays American housewife & mother, Agnes – the story begins following Agnes as she gets her house ready, in preparation for a celebration – people are enjoying themselves and Agnes is busy making sure everyone has what they need, the perfect host! You see Agnes adding candles to a very well iced chocolate cake then carrying it through to where all the guests are waiting – they are singing ‘Happy Birthday’ – turns out it’s Agnes’s birthday! This sets the tone perfectly for Agnes’s life…. A life where taking care of everyone else takes priority over her own wants and needs until of course she opens one of her birthday gifts, a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.
Agnes surprises herself just how quick and natural she is at putting the puzzle together – it seems to calm her and take her ‘out of herself’… she calls the person who gifted her the puzzle to enquire where they had bought it from; the next we see Agnes on a train heading to New York from the suburbs in search of the shop.
Agnes ends up buying two new puzzles plus spies a notice in the shop with a chap’s number looking for a ‘puzzle partner’?
Our leading lady throws caution to the wind (well, a few hours later, not right away!) and sends a text to the stranger’s number, her face showing signs of doubt and ‘what am I doing?? Agnes receives a very prompt reply. The stranger is Robert, a champion puzzler who is searching for a new puzzle partner for a national competition – Agnes heads back to New York to meet Robert, (Irrfan Khan) and yes, you guessed it, they become ‘puzzle partners’….
At first, Agnes keeps her new found hobby/passion secret from her husband and two sons – the world where she cooks, cleans and basically does everything for the family… the more time Agnes spends with Robert in New York the more distracted she becomes with her life; she’s changing and finally allowing herself ‘me time’ which is causing her to question everything and become dissatisfied.
Her husband isn’t a bad husband, he adores Agnes; however, he doesn’t seem to see things from her point of view – plus, she’s always been there looking after the home, getting dinner on the table, making sure the men in her life get out of bed in the morning! (the couple’s two sons are both equally entertaining for very different reasons – great young actors)
I don’t want to share anymore; however I do hope this will give you a little flavour of the story.
This is a truly warm, funny, understated movie which has a ‘real’ woman at the heart of it going through real emotions – you become genuinely interested in Agnes’s journey and from the audience’s huge applause as the credits rolled I think they felt the same way..