June 12, 2016 by Liza Lou
Jigsaw has been on my list since I read about it a long time ago. I was researching thriller films that I happened to have never seen and while looking for one that was crime based. Jigsaw also happens to be shot totally in black & white so let’s be honest here and disclaim that my knowledge of this particular type of film is severely lacking. I am so easily swayed by the saturated hues of a fancy director or the glorious technicolor of new Hollywood far to easily, so much so that this film offered me hope of a much simpler set up. It got me excited. It was new to me.
Put simply, we are looking at a quintessential murder mystery based on another nothing (called Sleep Long My Love) that I have never read. Set in Brighton, the story starts with Sgt. Wilkes (Ronald Lewis) sent to investigate a robbery of leases from an estate agency. When the locals don’t think that he is doing enough Wilke’s superior Fellows (Jack Warner) is drafted in to help and during the investigations the body of a woman is found on near the beach.
I’m afraid my knowledge of film technicalities follows suit with that of the black & white variety but it goes without saying that this film does not have the seamless quality of a modern blockbuster. Totally a sign of the times, each frame seems more disjointed to an eye that isn’t used to it leaving a very cut and paste yet well put together picture. I found this utterly charming despite being the thing I thought would make me lose interest quickly. Instead the film managed to hold my interest for the whole 1 hour 40 despite it feeling perhaps a little long.
Warner is charming in his role and both him and Lewis bring pure gentleman class to parts that could of quite easily come across as ‘stuffy’. I cooed at the old timey English accents, marveled at the ease of the dialogue (there is considerably ALOT of it) and even laughed at the funnier bits. There are other characters but at least 80% of the camera time focuses on what is almost a double act and you know what, it is a joy to watch.
The plot is methodical and not secretive like some thrillers I have seen. There are plenty of clues to be picked up on by both the detectives and audience alike and most of them are in plain site. As Wilkes and Fellows painstakingly piece together ‘whodunnit’ so can the watcher making it easily interactive and extra enjoyable.
As far as non colorful films go, this one now joins the handful I have watched and one I thoroughly savored. I now need to find more of course.. have you got any favourites??