“Puzzle” Fits Together Well Enough

Puzzle, a story about a jigsaw puzzle savant and lonely housewife teaming up with a puzzle master, interlocks in all the familiar ways even though the finish picture is not quite as impressive as the cardboard image on the box.

Kelly Macdonald and Irrfan Khan play the partners flirting and trying to avoid the romantic comedy cliches. The movie wants to be a light drama about two closeted people discovering their best selves. Unfortunately, drama is the one dark piece that doesn’t fit the sunny plot. To make it interlock, Puzzle requires the two to fit together, and that means interlocking minds, hearts and body pieces.

Yes, it goes where the audience expects it to go. Then it has the smarts to break the pieces up and start all over again. Khan and McDonald give understated performances full of heartache and small joyous emotional revelations that appropriately fit together.

Puzzle is better at the making then it is at the completion. It takes pride in that accomplishment.

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