Most of what we see at the theater these days is loud, in your face, and fast paced. Such little time is spent on those small, discreet realities of life and we often don’t get to see them told on the big screen.
Puzzle, however, is a quiet, sweet story about finding yourself and having purpose and understanding in life.
Puzzle follows Agnes (Kelly Macdonald), a stay at home wife and mother of two grown sons. Day in and day out, she takes care of the home and her family, which means that she spends less time caring for or worrying about herself. However, things start to change as she rediscovers her passion for putting together puzzles. She’s not only very good at building puzzles, but it becomes a way to escape and have some sense of control in her life.
After finishing a puzzle she received for her birthday, she goes out to buy some more and comes across somebody in need of a partner. She soon finds out that she will be a part of a national competition, which includes a trophy and a trip to Brussels.
As the story progresses, Agnes will have to evaluate many pieces of her life. She’ll question her faith, the role she has within her family and to her husband, and what friendship and love really mean. Agnes’ new partner, Robert (Irrfan Khan) will be the one who offers these challenges to her and encourages her to think more broadly about her place in the world.
Kelly Macdonald and Irrfan Khan work well together in Puzzle. They are able to dance around as characters who don’t really understand each other but are nonetheless intrigued and interested the other.
This film also touches on important topics such as marriage and devotion. David Denman portrays Louie, Agnes’ husband. As their children have gotten older, Agnes and Louie will have to face the reality of growing apart and wanting different things.
While it isn’t a movie which begs for your attention in the theater, Puzzle is a story that most people can connect to. It’s far from being flashy or polished, and that’s what makes it enjoyable.
The review originally appeared on Salt Lake Film Review