Genres: Drama, Mystery, War

Review: Incendies

Transcript for Review: Incendies

Well, our next film, INCENDIES, actually has a lot in common with a film we reviewed earlier in this show MIRAL. Like MIRAL, it's a film about the Middle East made by a director from North America, and it portrays the differing experiences of parents and their children. But these are only surface similarities. INCENDIES opens with a set-up for a good mystery: Simon and Jeanne are Quebecois twins whose mother has just passed away. At the reading of her will, they receive instructions to deliver two envelopes: one for their father, who they've always been told is dead, and the other one addressed to a brother neither of them knows they had.  

Clip 3 / "The Silence will be broken"

Simon wants nothing to do with their family's past, so Jeanne sets off alone for their mother's homeland -- an unnamed country that resembles Lebanon. 

Clip 5 / "You're definitely not from here"

The film periodically shifts perspectives from Jeanne's investigation to the life of her mother, played by Lunda Azabal.

Clip 4 / "Where are the children."

Director Denis Villeneuve, who also adapted the screenplay, doles out portions of the story like plot twists in a mystery. Every scene of the film is permeated by a creeping sense of dread, a sense that something sinister always lies under the surface and that bad things may turn worse at any moment. It’s a thumb’s up for me.

Thimbs up from me too, this is very tense and it is a mystery.  We are going along with the mystery just alongside Jeanne and Simon, we don’t know what’s going to happen and it takes these horrifying turns.  But the fact that it is shot in such an intimate ans stripped down and very realistic way, it’s an interesting contrast.

You found it intimate? Because to me it seemed very distanced and that’s almost what made it more effective as a thriller. 

No, insode the bus, you get up close and personal with their faces and their eyes.  I mean Jeanne as she’s reacting to who her mother was.

But those close ups, they almost feel to me like they’re undera microscope, you know it seems more like…

That’s what I mean by intimate, you’re right there with them as it’s happening.

To me it seems more like we’re observing them.  To me, it seems more like we’re studying them.  There is a sistance, but not say to the same degree in Miral where people just seem as if they’re you know, barely existent.

No, this works mush better than Miral and much more effective on every level.