look how they run (See How They RunUnited States/2022). Direction: Tom George. Script: Mark Chappell. Photography: Jamie Ramsey. Edition: Gary Dollner, Peter Lambert. Cast: Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, Ruth Wilson, Adrien Brody, Harris Dickinson, Reece Shearsmith, Sian Cliford, David Yelowo, Shirley Henderson. Distributor: Disney-Fox. Duration: 98 minutes. Qualification: Suitable for people over 13 years of age. Our opinion: good.
The model of the whodunit seems to have become a parody of itself. Its mechanisms have become so widespread, copied, repetitive, that to think of a hint of originality in this mechanism of discovering the culprit among a parade of suspects seated in a soft chair, in front of an inspector with a pipe and a monocle, is a monotonous appointment. without any surprise. Is it possible to give Another twist? Well, that’s what Tom George tries to do in this discreet homage to Agatha Christie’s invention and the popularity of the British enigma: to get inside that logic like the mouse in a mousetrap to exhibit its mechanisms and laugh with them.
look how they run It begins in a London theater in the 1950s when a Hollywood director exiled in England by McCarthyism celebrates the imminent adaptation of a blockbuster to the screen. That success is none other than The Mousetrap Agatha Christie’s 100th West End show is the triumph of stealthy producer Petula Spencer (Ruth Wilson). Pedantic and undiplomatic, the director Leo Köpernik (Adrien Brody) is not the most discreet guest at the celebration, although he is the perfect victim of a living room crime. It is his same voice from beyond the grave that leads us through history – he quotes sunset boulevard by Billy Wilder- and with it he introduces us to the pair of researchers who will evoke the Poirots of this tradition.
The duo made up of Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan conduct the investigation with the obligatory missteps, and in this game between the worn-out professionalism of the veteran inspector and the excessive enthusiasm of the aspiring sergeant, the perfect humor of the genre is developed, at the same time that it builds the internal look that the film proposes, charged both with love for that universe and with the irony necessary for its deconstruction.
look how he runsn dodges the solemn palimpsests directed by Kenneth Branagh in his latest adaptations of Christie’s literature, and at the same time distances himself from the yearning for reinvention that drives Rian Johnson in the unexpected saga of Between knives and secrets. Tom George’s gaze concentrates self-awareness in obligatory winks – the detective’s last name comes from Tom Stoppard, director of his own parody of whodunit, The Royal Inspector Hound; Attenborough by Richard Attenborough, who was part of the original cast of the stage version of The Mousetrap-, but at the same time in the reading of those 50s of English cinema, times in which the British New Wave and its costumbrist dramas revealed the social counterpart of the enigma on stage (here also appears the reference to the famous Rillington Place strangler and the difference between the British and American narratives). With humor, George leaves nothing to chance, and in this search to discover the murderer, he also tests the limits of his own artifice, the reverse of each of his characters, the logic of the genre as a trap and enjoyment. .
Although all the actors conform to their ‘usual suspects’, the joint work of Rockwell and Ronan is notable, a couple of investigators who evoke warmth and humor, a clear vocation to peek into their characters without feeling above them. Both play the game with conviction and enjoyment, and think of the parody from the same tradition as the 20th century novel, in that elusive limit between tragedy and farce.