'Everybody Has a Plan': Taking twin's place to survive - or perish

An atmospheric Argentine thriller starring Viggo Mortensen in twin roles (literally), Everybody Has a Plan is in the vein of, if not on the same plane as, Michelangelo Antonioni's The Passenger. An investigation into existential malaise and mystery, the Spanish-language movie from first-time director Ana Piterbarg finds Mortensen's character, like Jack Nicholson's in The Passenger, assuming another man's identity.

In Everybody Has a Plan (the title can be read with irony), Mortensen plays Pedro, who lives in the densely wooded Tigre Delta, keeping bees and mostly keeping to himself. And Mortensen plays Agustin, a pediatrician in Buenos Aires, at a spiritual dead end. His wife wants a child, he does not. In fact, he wants nothing - his life is empty, blank.

Given the opportunity to disappear in the outback, Agustin does just that. He becomes Pedro, taking over his brother's cabin, and trying not to let Rosa (Sofia Gala Castaglione), Pedro's helper, find him out. But the deception isn't easy, especially when Adrian (Daniel Fanego), an outlaw whom the real Pedro assisted in thuggery, enters the picture.

Agustin's ruse could, in fact, prove fatal.

Mortensen is fluent in Spanish - and in the language of enigma. Does Agustin's appropriation of Pedro's identity finally give his life meaning? Or is this another act of quiet desperation? Of motion without emotion? The actor navigates the murky whorl of the delta country and never lets on.


Contact Steven Rea at 215-854-5629 or srea@phillynews.com. Read his blog, "On Movies Online," at www.philly.com/onmovies.


Everyone Has a Plan (Todos tenemos un plan)

Directed by Ana Piterbarg. With Daniel Fanego, Soledad Villamil, Viggo Mortensen, Sofía Gala, Javier Godino. Distributed by 20th Century Fox.

Running time: 1 hours, 58 minutes.

Parent's guide: R (for some brutal violence, language and sexuality).