Skylar’s review published on Letterboxd:
“I suspect foul play...I’ve eliminated no suspects”
Mysteries can be a tangled web. It takes a skilled director, writer, cast, and crew to allow that web to untangle in such a unique, tasteful fashion. You can’t spill your beans too soon, even if you give the audience information they aren’t used to knowing at the beginning. They don’t suspect a stale reveal due to that, and that raises a sort of ample appreciation and anticipation. The appreciation for stylistic writing, and the anticipation for a unique plot to unfold.
To solve a mystery, you must fill all of the holes of a donut. You can’t leave a spot unturned, a hole not filled with glaze or plot. If you do do that, why the hell did you write this. Allowing weaker plot details to make your plot all droopy and nonsensical. Let’s back it up.
The first part of the web; the puzzle has to be a sort of thrilling kind of deal(it has to keep a sense of intrigue). The interest must run high.
The second part of making a mystery; the cast has to be likable but also sleazebaggish. Now, the protagonist doesn’t exactly have to be one, or the detective, but please don’t make everyone like Marta in this movie. Try to go for a more Linda, Joni, Walt approach. That’s a good way to suspend a sense of intrigue due to interfamilial character conflicts, such as opposing views over immigration.
Then you have to twist the web. Add new directions. Edit the film with taste, infuse it with a thoughtful tone, a witty glaze coating on the outside of the donut.
The final part, the big reveal, is eliciting great performances from a cast, optional is an ensemble cast of A-list quality. Apply focus on a few characters, but make sure to leave time for the other actors to do their things and add their own donutty glaze to the puzzle.
If you do have all of these things, then I do declare your mystery, whodunit, will be delightful.