In the Netherlands a body plunges into the sea tied to a statue. At the same time translator David (Benno Fürmann) is approached by his publisher in Stockholm. -Would he translate the final manuscript of Germund Rein, a famous author who has just committed suicide at sea?
Accepting the task, the dead man’s manuscript seems to speak to David beyond the grave. With each translated sentence ,the book uncannily mirrors David’s own life – and in particular, one deep, dark secret he has worked very hard to keep hidden.
… a murder mystery wrapped in the words of a dead man’s manuscript.
‘Intrigo’ is a murder mystery wrapped in the words of a dead man’s manuscript. Similar to Director Tom Ford’s recent ‘Nocturnal Animals’, ‘Intrigo’ is a movie that deliberately blurs the lines between its lead characters and those of a book one of them has written. The onscreen action moves between the real world and the imagined, all the while suggesting that one is actually the other. However sadly, the similarities don’t stop there.
In a redundant opening half an hour that tiresomely details David’s deep, dark secret, any remaining sense of suspense is swiftly relegated to the movie’s final fifteen minutes. Left with only dull scenes in-between, ‘Intrigo’ characters understandably strain for both credibility or concern in the intervening hour.
That said, running through the stern of this script, dependable actor Ben Kingsley routinely appears in an alternate timeline as reclusive author, Henderson. Helping David pick apart his story with his barb-like criticisms, Kingsley’s character actually ends up taking pot shots at the film itself. Sadly this is done so often that when the story’s big reveal does come, any surprise has already leaked away.
In the end, with its indifferent characters and dialogue to match, ‘Intrigo’s’ title sadly takes on a wearisome inflection of what Director Daniel Alfredson was aiming for, but sadly failed to catch. Squandering both its suspenseful premise and any available intrigue, this is one murder mystery that you can safely pass by.