It is often said that films reflect the societal fears at the time they were made. This is seen most clearly through the evolution of our monster films. However I have noticed a pattern in smaller dramatic films as well; in films that reflect our deeper emotional fears, the fears that seem to be deeply imbedded in all of us. In this case, the fear that life will end and you will have left no impact on the world. In psychology, according to Erik Erikson, there are several stages of human psychological development, each stage being a crisis. The one I want to focus on is generativity vs stagnation. This is thought to generally occur ages 40 to 65. Hence why a great amount of small dramatic pictures feature characters ages 40 to 65 whose great dilemma is that they have failed to "make their mark" on the world. Rebellion is an extremely heavy topic in these films. Rebellion against monotony or....stagnation.
All of this is a long winded introduction to say...let's talk about Puzzle. Puzzle is 2018 American Drama film directed by Marc Turtletaub, written by Polly Mann and Oren Moverman. It is based on a 2010 Argentinian film of the same name. It stars Kelly Macdonald, Irrfan Khan, and David Denman. Puzzle is the story of a middle aged housewife named Agnes, who is dissatisfied by the monotony of everyday life. She is exhausted by her routine and feels as though she has done nothing of value with her life. Her husband is disinterested, gruff and often cold towards her. Agnes’ only source of enjoyment is her time putting together puzzles. Her life takes a drastic turn when she answers a newspaper ad asking for a puzzle partner. She meets Robert, a gentle, eccentric indian man looking for an adventure. Together they work on puzzle, training for the big competition in New York. Crossing paths creates a spark that will forever change their lives. Check out the trailer and let us here at Narrative know what you think.