Home > Written Reviews, Written Reviews > “INTRIGO: DEATH OF AN AUTHOR” a Puzzler




Review by John Delia

A good mystery that has a lot of intriguing buildup, Intrigo: Death of an Author, is now in select theaters. Nicely directed and acted, the film digs deep into a relationship that is falling apart and puts the protagonist on a road to finding the remedy to correct the mistakes he made. Set in a background of beautiful vistas, the movie becomes a puzzle that challenges the viewer to take sides, then decide whether they were right or wrong at the very end. If you like your dramas with a lot of mystery and a few twists, then this one makes a good couples or girl’s night out.

Henry Martin (Benno Fürmann), a writer, takes a trip to visit the recluse Henderson (Ben Kingsley) a famous author. Martin is looking for answers on issues in the crime novel he’s writing. He wants Henderson to give him some pointers on how it can be improved before giving it to his publisher. While there he insists on reading his manuscript out loud to Henderson so they can get the feel of what the story is really about. As he reads, we see the story being played out between characters named David Schultz and Eva (Tuva Novotny) his wife.

Ben Kingsley as Henderson in INTRIGO: DEATH OF AN AUTHOR from Lionsgate Films

The story gets really involved when David finds out that his wife has been cheating on him with another man. Worse, she’s pregnant with the man’s baby and wants to leave David. Director and writer Daniel Alfredson (“The Girl who Played with Fire” and “The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”) works on his audience creating a guessing game on what David’s next step may be. As Martin reads on the film switches back and forth between scenes as Henderson offers comments. In the book David’s slowly spiraling into deep despair and realizing that loneliness without Eva would be part of the problem. He’s torn with making a choice of letting her go or taking her out of the equation that may involve murder. But, to complicate matters there’s news reports of several women found dead. This is where Henderson offers a suggestion and an observation that maybe Martin and David’s are one in the same and the story may be true. But, things are not always what they seem in this tale and Alfreson’s got a lot up his sleeve before he gives his big reveal.

Alfredson choses the right actors to pull off his torrid script of love, cheating and betrayal. In a wonderful stone faced performance, Ben Kingsley becomes the confidant and gloats about his helping the novice author with his sordid tale. His Henderson is crafty, but has spent too much time in seclusion to offer more than what Martin brings to the table. Totally taken by the man’s acceptance of a fix to the storyline, he becomes bigheaded and arrogant, but still stays his course. His role is pivotal within the plot and Kingsley helps to make the film a winner.

Benno Fürmann as David in INTRIGO: DEATH OF AN AUTHOR from Lionsgate Films

As Martin, the guy who’s looking for answers, Benno Fürmann gives an equally good performance as the man who’s lost his way in the book he’s writing. By reading it out loud he gains the strength to convince the great author Henderson, that he is a worthy student. As the David in the book however, he shows the weakness of the central character and little by little opens unexpected dialogue with Henderson that that may tip his hand. Keeping his Martin character cool and collected gets him the much needed resolve to end his visit.

Intrigo: Death of an Author has been rated R by the MPAA for language and some sexual content.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A nicely played script keeps the mystery a mind-boggler. (3 out of 5 Stars) 

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Ben Kingsley, Tuva Novotny, Michael Byrne, Benno Fürmann
Directed and written by: Daniel Alfredson
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content
Running Time: 1 hr. 46 min.
Opening Date: January 17, 2020
Distributed by: Lionsgate
Released in: Theaters, VOD

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