With a career performance from Kelly MacDonald in the leading role, Puzzle becomes far more than just a woman finding a puzzle partner

Puzzle is a particularly subtle drama looking at the difficulties a long term relationship can bring, and the importance of hobbies and interests in a world increasingly run by technology. With a career performance from Kelly MacDonald in the leading role, Puzzle becomes far more than just a woman finding a puzzle partner.

Beginning to feel trapped in the marriage with her childhood sweetheart, Agnes (Kelly Macdonald) finds great solace in doing a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle given to her on her birthday. Looking to branch into more intricate designs, Agnes makes the trip to New York to buy herself more puzzles. But along with the jigsaws, Agnes picks up an advertisement for a puzzle partner, discovering just how therapeutic her new favourite hobby actually is.

Puzzle 2

Kelly Macdonald absolutely makes Puzzle the incredible piece that it is. Focusing so centrally on her allows for the film to alleviate into a true character piece. Agnes’ inner struggle is so clear and painful to watch it becomes a paramount issue in need of closure. The nature of the puzzles leads to them becoming the overarching metaphor that was originally intended, but it is Agnes’ happiness that supplies the real interest.

There’s a detailed script behind the story and without it Puzzle would not work. Offering no surprises or twists, there needed to be a progressive character arc leading the way to an enlightened lead. Kelly MacDonald supplies more than enough, and the script is descriptive and emotional enough to allow for the depth MacDonald supplies to flow throughout the rest of the film.

Puzzle is the perfect example of a film with a calm and quiet demeanour managing to express itself vividly and openly. By relying on the basic components of film making, Puzzle is a real triumph and showcases one of the UK’s best actors in the most wonderful of lights. The topic of puzzles may initially seem like a boring one for a feature length film but the final result is actually anything but.

4/5

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