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By Merle Bertrand | March 30, 2000

Most people, when they write a script, do nothing but talk about it. Max (Jack Wouterse), on the other hand, is a truly obsessed do-it-yourselfer. He goes out and hires a director, who promises to cast him in the lead. Instead, the director’s production company simply uses Max to find some really cool Amsterdam locations…which they intend to recreate in America while casting another actor in the lead role. Though his fed-up girlfriend deserts him and he’s broke, Max still struggles to land the role, spending the rest of “Enigma” auditioning on the fly for his ever-present video camera operator Dimitri. As he does, the line between reality and the madcap world Max has created in his script becomes increasingly blurred. This absurd, multi-lingual adventure farce, with its abrupt non-sequitur editing and relentless, in your face action, takes a little getting used to. Once you get over the culture clash shell shock, however, Paul Ruven’s bizarre film is worth a few good belly laughs. (The scene where Max, intent on regaining control of his script and his life, buys a gun with a mind of its own is a scream in and of itself.) An uneasy alliance between documentary and feature film, “Enigma” doesn’t always click. But when it does, it’s a scream.

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