The Puzzle (2008)

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Overall Rating 61%
Overall Rating
Ranked #11,396
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A woman refuses to give money to her son, despite his continuous pressure. One night she decides to relax and forget her troubles with her favorite pastime: making puzzles. However, this simple table game hides strange features that can turn her peaceful night into a nightmare. --IMDb
Review by Griffinheart
Added: December 23, 2009
"The Puzzle" is short. Really short. So, if you trust your own instincts better than mine, just watch it for yourself as doing so might take less time than reading my review.

When I first looked at the back of this movie's case, I assumed the run time of five minutes was a typo. Turns out it was right on the dot. In those five minutes, though, you'll see a beautifully shot movie that's a bit vacant and confusing story-wise.

The plot is hard to describe without covering the whole mini-movie, but the "short" plot is that there was an argument between a mother and a son which drives the mother to assembling a jig-saw puzzle to relax. The puzzle gets creepier and creepier as she assembles it...

I was very confused my first time through the movie as the entirety of the backstory is contained within the first 10-15 seconds of the film which is also the only spot of dialogue in the film. The audio here was a little muffled, so I didn't fully catch what was said until I watched that segment a couple times and compared it to the stated plot on the back of the DVD case. Since the backstory provides the only clue to how the two characters relate and the only reason for you to care about either, cleaning up the audio would have been a great boon to the movie. The middle and end of the movie are neat enough, but I'll leave those sections to you.

As a contrast, the camera work was fantastic. Every shot shows you what you need to see and subtly guides your eyes to what's important. Toss in a few Matrix-esque 360 shots, and I was quite impressed.

Overall, the movie felt well done but hollow. It's hard, but short stories can be fit into five minutes, but "the Puzzle" mostly doesn't have a story to tell aside from showing a brief period of this woman's life. Interesting and short, but you'll be left wanting more. I'd recommend watching it once.

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