14 June 2013 | gradyharp
Todos tenemos un plan (Everybody has a plan) is very slow moving Argentinean film written (with Ana Cohan) and directed by Ana Piterbarg. It seems the primary reason for bringing this story to the screen is to make use of the fact that fine actor and star Viggo Mortensen lived in Argentina for ten years, speaks the language fluently, and probably more than any other actor is able to bring off this tale of a man who assumes the identity of his deceased twin. The story jumps all over the place, leaving the audience confused at the events. It is clear that the title of the movie does not relate to the writer director: the grand plan of the film is missing.
The story deals with identical twin brothers whose lives could not be more different: Agustín (played by Mortensen) would appear to have the ideal life. He's a pediatrician with an attractive wife Claudia (Soledad Villamil) living comfortably in Buenos Aires. The couple is in the midst of arranging the adoption of a baby, but the idea of having an infant in the house reminds Augustine that he is not at all comfortable with children, despite his being a successful pediatrician. Agustín reverses his consent at the last minute, and his changed behavior creates a schism that brings to the surface the true sense of lack of fulfillment that Agustín feels with his life. In the midst of a depressive episode Agustín decides to lock himself in a room, Claudia leaves just to retreat from her disappointment and loathing of Agustín. Agustín receives a visit from his estranged twin brother, Pedro (also played by Mortensen), a beekeeper on an island by the river, who reveals he has terminal lung cancer. Pedro asks Agustín to help him die, but when that situation is realized Agustín escapes his obligation-filled existence and assumes his brother's identity, taking up residence in Pedro's rundown shack in Argentina's Tigre Delta island region where the brothers grew up. A romance develops with one of Pedro's much younger bee farm helpers Rosa (Sofía Gala Castaglione), while Agustín becomes caught up in the fallout from Pedro's past criminal affairs with some shady locals: Adrián (Daniel Fanego) is the crime lord responsible for a death and for gambling problems Pedro had and Rubén (Javier Godino) is caught up in the confusion. How the story ends is fragmented and somewhat unsatisfying.
Mortensen capably pulls of the difference in the twins and the similarities that arise when he assumes the identity of the deceased Pedro. The cast is very fine, the mood is unrelentingly dark, and the story resembles Swiss cheese - great flavor but far too many holes.