look how they run (See How They RunUnited States/2022). Address: 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 ages 13 and up. Our opinion: good.
The model of whodunit he seems to have become a parody of himself. Its mechanisms have become so widespread, copied, repetitive, that to think of a hint of originality in that mechanism of discovering the culprit among a parade of suspects sitting 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 tribute to the invention of Agatha Christie and the popularity of the British enigma: to get into that logic like a 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 to England by McCarthyism celebrates the imminent adaptation of a hit from the stage to the screen. That success is none other than The Mousetrap Agatha Christie’s 100-performance West End show is the triumph of stealthy producer Petula Spencer (Ruth Wilson). Pedantic and not very diplomatic, director Leo Köpernik (Adrien Brody) is not the most discreet guest at the celebration, although he is the perfect victim of a parlor crime. It is his own 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 investigators who will evoke the Poirots of this tradition.
The duo formed by Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan leads the investigation with the obligatory missteps, and in that 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 created, at the same time as it builds the internal gaze that the film proposes, charged both with love for that universe and with the irony necessary for its deconstruction.
look how it runsn dodges the solemn palimpsests directed by Kenneth Branagh in his latest adaptations of Christie’s literature, while at the same time distancing himself from the longing for reinvention that drives Rian Johnson in the unexpected saga of Between knives and secrets. Tom George’s gaze concentrates self-awareness into forced winks – the detective’s last name comes from Tom Stoppard, director of his own parody of the whodunit, The Real 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 1950s of English cinema, times in which the British New Wave and its costumbrist dramas revealed the social counterpart of the enigma on the stage (here the reference to the famous Rillington Place strangler also appears and to the difference between the British and American narratives). From 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 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 arouses warmth and humor, a clear vocation to look at their characters without feeling above them. Both play the game with conviction and enjoyment, and think parody from the same tradition of the twentieth century novel, in that elusive limit between tragedy and farce.