The moody "Everybody Has A Plan" thrills at a lurching pace

Piterbarg's directorial debut is a tense, engaging exploration of identity.

From the black of the first frame, there is a hum as the patient reveal of buzzing honeybees culminates with the replacement of a hive queen. The placidity and the sound build an anxiety in this opening sequence that sets the tone for the film. Someone is going to get stung.

In Everybody Has a Plan first time director Ana Piterbarg creates an engaging, swampy-noir thriller that balances an unhurried pace with a quickly unraveling lie.

Viggo Mortensen plays twin brothers Agustín, a doctor, and Pedro, a beekeeper. Pedro leads a life in a quiet island town where they grew up, and conspires with the brothers’ old friend Adrián (Daniel Fanego) in thefts and kidnapping. Agustín and his beautiful wife Claudia (Soledad Villamil) are preparing to adopt a child. Petrified by his changing life, and intrigued by a visit from his sick brother, Agustín abandons Claudia and flees into what he thinks is Pedro’s simpler existence, by replacing his brother. It isn’t long before everyone from the bees to Adrián begin to recognize the truth.

Mortensen fashions two different characters using his understated style to form a link between the two men. The different aspects and levels of intensity he brings to the characters are reminiscent of his performance in A History of Violence.

Piterbarg crafts a steady film that floats through an atmosphere thick with moody visuals and saturated with reflections, from Pedro’s rustic island-based life, to the sleek cosmopolitan apartment of Agustín and Claudia.

There is a tight thriller inside this film, one that more deftly explores cowardice and redemption without a sentimental ending. But Everybody Has a Plan despite its pacing, keeps the tension high, the action engaging, and the story humming along.

Everybody Has a Plan is currently in theaters in Argentina and Spain. No official US release date is currently slated.

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