EHAP_0007[1]If you, for some reason, want to watch Viggo Mortensen watching Viggo Mortensen take a bath, then, my friend, your luck is in – as the renowned star of The Lord of the Rings franchise turns in one of the finest performances of his career, taking on the role(s) of identical twins in Ana Piterbarg’s intense, if somewhat unfulfilling drama Everybody Has a Plan.

Set in Argentina, we delve into the life of troubled paediatrician Agustín (Mortensen) who is paid a shock visit from his twin Pedro (Mortensen, again), a beekeeper who has fled his home town following an unsavoury murder case of which he played a part. After revealing he is terminally ill, Agustín assumes his brother’s identity once he has passed away, deciding to travel back home and pick up the pieces. Though able to impersonate Pedro to a tee, adapting to a different way of life and resuming relationships and matters he knows nothing about, proves to be a harder task than he had initially envisaged.

Though a relatively tedious thriller on the whole, an outstanding lead performance by Mortensen prevents this mediocre Piterbarg title from being completely forgettable. He manages to portray all of the subtleties and idiosyncrasies of his characters that allow for the viewer to always know which twin he is playing. Even when he plays Agustín impersonating Pedro, we can still see through him and can tell it’s the former, which is a quite astounding feat for the actor to have pulled off. He also speaks immaculate Spanish, too.

There is a great sense of ambiguity to this title, as we are given so little information on Pedro’s situation before he passes – so when Agustín turns up and attempts to live his twin’s lifestyle, we learn about it as he does, putting us in equally as unclear a situation, piecing the story together in tune with our protagonist. The somewhat suspenseful ambiance enhances such an ambivalent scenario, as Piterbarg places us in an isolated, swampy village, where to visit a neighbour you must approach via boat, adding to the immense feeling of desolation and solitude that emanates from this production. Though on the flip side, the water barrier works as a security measure, as we always feel somewhat comforted knowing that Agustín has an island all to himself, and any visitors will have to make themselves known.

The ambiguity of the piece does pose some issues however, as Agustín completes a series of unexplainable acts and we unsuccessfully strive to quite comprehend his motives. It’s a shame because he is otherwise a relatable character, yet the viewer struggles to ever truly get inside his head, as his impulsive decision to take on the guise of his deceased twin is mystifying, and the length of time he does so is equally as unfathomable. Meanwhile, the romantic narrative between our lead and Rosa (Sofía Gala) is superfluous and thus difficult to fully invest in. It manages to jump from one night stand to full on love affair rather intensely, with little rhyme nor reason.

Despite being a dramatic picture with much to ponder over, Everybody Has a Plan leaves the viewer with too many unanswered questions, with an inconsequential finale that ensures you leave the cinema with the rather misfortunate feeling of dissatisfaction. A shame, because Mortensen is bloody good.