A man is trying to purchase a jigsaw from a merchant but the merchant highlights the puzzle is not something the man should consider as it has been returned many times before by its clients. Of course what else would anybody wish for but the exact thing they can’t have!? When the man insists to buy the jigsaw he doesn’t know what is coming.
Brothers Basil & Rashad Al-Safar’s film, ‘The Jigsaw‘, is simple and yet splendidly terrifying. From an artistic point of view, to start with, the structure of the film is masterfully handled, personifying the jigsaw and making it the main character. There is often much ability needed to ‘ratify’ an object as a main character as this usually implies a sense of detachment from characters’ arcs and the director’s tendency to treat them preferentially – the same way a creator gets emotionally entailed by their creation. In this case Al-Safar Brothers manage to establish the right degree of objectivity needed to put the jigsaw under the spotlight, even more so that they don’t fill the shots with it but leave the story to be unfolded by the help of the human characters while the jigsaw is unveiled gradually to the fortunate blooming of the mystery.
From a character point of view, focusing on the jigsaw and the secret it conceals, especially that we are dealing with a short horror film, is a brilliant move as short film characters don’t have much time available to evolve or change and therefore the best short flicks are those which don’t aim to tackle this as a theme but rather those which are skillful enough to avoid this trap and focus on the drama of a moment that can emerge as a story and a lesson in its whole.
Ultimately from an entertaining point of view, ‘The Jigsaw’ is an amazing piece of horror cinematography. Beyond the fact that is able to generate high quality suspense in spite of the lack of special and visual effects, the film of Al-Safar Brothers, made with much artistic discernment and refined talent, emerges as ‘the mould’, among dozens of variation on the same story. So behold! You are witnessing ‘The Original’. This perfect example of the power the director has over any story or script no matter how average, is no less than captivating and full of suspense.
Don’t miss one of the most enjoyable horror films in our festival so far!