Everybody Has A Plan Review

Everybody Has A Plan

Responsibility’s a funny thing.

Some people wilt under it, while others thrive.

And then are those like Viggo Mortensen’s character of Agustin, who would literally do anything to avoid taking responsibility in his life.

Agustin is a good man; a loving husband and caring paediatrician living in some Argentinean city.

And his wife’s successful writer, yet Claudia’s childless and yearns for the one thing that she feels would make their life complete.

Although Agustin ain’t so sure.

Sometimes, after a hard day at the office, the last thing you want is a home life like said workplace.

So when Claudia arranges for them to adopt, this seemingly good doctor goes out of his way to make sure this just doesn’t happen.

Not signing his paperwork doesn’t quite do the trick, but at least it lets his wife know just how he feels about this idea.

And when she tries to confront him about this, Agustin locks himself in their study and simply refuses to speak to Claudia or even come out until she leaves their house.

Now that, ladies and gentleman, is how a real man avoids responsibility.

Days later, his frustrated wife decides there’s something seriously wrong with her husband for not wanting exactly what she does, and finally leaves the flat, threatening to sell it as she departs.

And once she’s gone, who should show up but Agustin’s estranged twin brother Pedro.

Now Agustin and Pedro are the proverbial chalk and cheese brothers; while the former has carved a successful life for himself in the big city, the latter has stayed in the poor riverside town they grew up in and makes ends meet as a beekeeper.

He even has the same friends as when they were kids, and some of these are a less than positive influence on brother Pedro’s activities.

Still, considering the predicament he finds himself in, Agustin finds himself feeling jealous of his twin’s simple life living off the land.

And that’s when Agustin hatches an even crazier way to escape his so called life.

Everybody Has A Plan

Written and directed by argentinean auteur Ana Piterbarg, Everybody Has A Plan is a slow burning spanish language story about, well, the choices we make in life.

And how the supposedly good, capitalist life we’re all supposed to strive for may not be as good for us as we’ve been sold to believe.

At least, that’s my take on it.

Carrying on in his merry, idiosyncratic way, Viggo Mortensen gets the chance to live most actors’ dream, by playing two wildly different characters in the same film.

And there’s something very fitting about the man who played the reluctant king in Lord Of The Rings, playing the far less noble but still reluctant Agustin here.

The rest of the cast are good in their roles, making the film feel more realistic by only having one recognisable face, and the story’s fine enough, with one particularly line about being nice to each other acting as the moral heart of this particular story.

But neither is there anything outstanding in Everybody Has A Plan.

And that idea of everybody having a plan simply ain’t true.

I know I don’t, and anyone who’s followed Mortensen’s acting career since his king making role as Aragorn would tell you the same.

Jonathan Campbell

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May 2013
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