See How They Run

Where I Watched it: HBo MAX

Audio Description Provided By: Deluxe

I feel like I’ve been reviewing a lot of mysteries lately. I noted how difficult it was to watch Confess Fletch without audio description, and I just published the audio described Enolah Holmes 2.

See how They Run was a film i knew nothing about going in other than Sam Rockwell was in it. I found myself in a very clever detective story, albeit not a perfect one.

To describe this film is such a hard thing, because it’s so twisty, but the film plays a little with real life people like having actors play Richard Attenborough and Agatha Christie. It takes place centered around The mousetrap, an Agatha Christie work that has the distinction of being the longest running show in EK history (possibly, the world at this point). A writer (Adrien Brody) is hired to write a film adaptation, and it’s around this time that a murder occurs on the set of The mousetrap, and a body is found center stage. Enter two detectives, the seasoned drunk (Sam Rockwell) and his eager and inexperienced partner (Saorise Ronan).

From there, it is a murder mystery that likes to zig and zag in the most unexpected ways. Fingers are pointed, suspects abound, and anyone could be guilty. It’s a very unique work that excels in your lack of expectation, just so it can subvert it.

i enjoyed how the film is very self aware of the formula, and characters frequently address how paint by numbers some moments feel. For example, in one scene, a suspect is being interrogated and he’s recalling a memory of a conversation he had with the deceased. the film flashes back to that conversation, which was about translating the text to screen, and the use of flashbacks. The suspect in question laments the tendency for movies to overuse the flashback formula, and then says “they usually cut and say something like three weeks later”, which is exactly what happens next.

it knows exactly what kind of a film it wants to be, and the end, the reveal, I thought was clever and actually had some sort of emotional weight behind it.

What doesn’t work is that somehow, this film felt longer than it was. I felt the runtime of a film that is just about 100 minutes. That’s not very long. I guess you can only investigate just so many suspects and keep switching where the fingers are being ppointed for just so long. Also, Rockwell is an American playing a British constable. i felt like that needed explanation, and I’m not sure I actually got it.

The audio description here is fantastic. Just describing the murder sequence along was brilliant. The scene features a lot of misdirection, and things appearing to be things that they are not. I don’t want to ruin it for you, but as far as murders go, this one was oddly hilarious and certainly clever.

I think you probably should See How They Run, even if it’s a little messy, there’s no bow wrapped on it, and it just kind of charms you on a wing and a prayer. But, charmed is likely what you will be.

Final Grade: B

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