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Incendiary (2008)

January. 20,2008
| Drama Thriller Romance

A woman's life is torn apart when her husband and infant son are killed in a suicide bombing at a soccer match.


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Well Intentioned Post-Terror Musings on a Mother's Loss of Her Son (what grief there is for Her Husband is virtually absent) from, not one, but four, in tandem Suicide Bombers at a Stadium in London.Extremely Heavy Handed and sometimes Incoherent and Rambling Story. Badly Edited, the Film seems Pasted Together from a Committee of Mentally Challenged Monkeys. Things Happen without the Least Bit of Coherence (the middle with the Teenage Boy as one example) and the Triangle Romance is just Awkward and Distracting.Michelle Williams in a Difficult Role is Ravaged by it all and spends most of the Movie completely Disheveled and Delusional, in Tears, Distressed, and Depressed. Then a Segment Pops Up where She is Completely Gone, Hallucinating and Detached from Reality.The Biggest Problem is the Movie Never comes together and Appears Random and Rushed. The Music is just Awful and the Film is a Heavy Duty Downer. It Needs a Finesse of the Heart and Soul. It Feels like it was made, Tossed in a Blender, and Released without Regard for its Deep Subject Matter and the Emotional Attachment that it would Demand from the Audience.


This is an excellent drama movie. The romantic bits aren't honey and flowers, but more gritty, and advance the plot well. Don't go into this with expectations of either the director or cast - this movie defies expectations. Also don't expect action or 'thriller' - there isn't any.You are drawn in to a very personal journey on how to resolve grief while guilt and 'need' get in the way. For many viewers, there is a starkness and slow pacing that might turn off anyone wanting instant gratification. I prefer to see it as the director taking her time to tell the story well, and completely.A very good one to curl up with your significant other, and watch.

Carlo Salvadori

I'm going to start this review by making an effort in being generous and understanding, pointing out, that a possible reason for the galactic difference between the novel and the motion picture, is that the former was written one year before the actual terrorist attack on London on July the seventh 2005, while the latter was shot four years after, which could explain the impossibility to maintain certain features of the novel, which I am going to further analise in a second. Having specified that I now feel free to unleash the beast. First a plot summary as brief as possible: A working class woman, with an over the top personality, portrayed as a sort of Bridget Jones epigone, has her husband and her four year old son killed in a suicide bombing attack at the "Emirates Stadium". This is the only snippet the movie and the novel share; Afterwards they take two totally different directions. The book depicts a dismal, dark, gloomy, bleak , post apocalyptic setting, from the point of view of the female protagonist, in the form of a letter addressed to Osama Bin Laden. Chris Cleave, a Guardian columnist, literally paints pictures with his words, showing a society in decay, with particular concern about class conflict and government deceptions. Some claim that the only merit of the movie is to show the place where the book protagonist lives; that is only partially true, due to the colourful and imaginative writing of the novel, which is more than sufficient for the reader to form a picture in his head. The book also features modern,highly twisted and thrilling eroticism, which is the reason for this review's title. The novel follows the rules established by the late and great J. G. Ballard in his 1973 milestone in the history of modern literature, "The Atrocity Exhibition". Ballard, who worked for BBC at that time, and must be considered as one of the founders of British contemporary media, highlighted a sick connection, between catastrophes such as atomic explosions or car accidents and the release of sexual energy. Of course in the novel the perspective is turned upside down, the woman reminiscences images of the bombing while finding herself in sex related situations, but the connection is exactly just the very same. The film does not cover any of these aspects: Politics, Society and twisted eroticism are almost completely neglected, and replaced by a sappy soap operistic piece of trash, which makes Michael Bay's "Pearl Harbour" shine as a Stanley Kubrick motion picture. The doom setting of the novel is replaced by the brightiest, most childish, shallow and dull cinematography I have ever seen. The editing, especially towards the second half, is completely random. The soundtrack was probably written by some British equivalent of those self nominated, self righteous Italian "pop classical artists" such as Ludovico Einaudi or Giovanni Allevi. An unhonourable mention, concerning the acting and then we're done. Matthew Macfayden stars as Terrence Butcher, the head of the anti- terrorism task force. His acting can be compared to a first grade child, reading the list of the grocery store, or to a freshly retired ski alpine world champion turned into acting for the first and last time in his life. Fortunately they probably digitally removed the paper from where he was reading his lines in post production. To sum up, if you have already read the novel, stay far away from the movie, otherwise the book is a must read, therefore I highly recommend it.

martin lane

At times difficult to watch drama functions brilliantly as showcase for Michelle Williams (the best performance of hers that I have yet seen) and an all too vivid examination of the perils and scars of living in the oh so dangerous and unsettled modern world.Previous comments labeling the film melodramatic and unconvincing seem very off base to me. I agree that this material MIGHT have been pat and soap opera-ish in other hands, but for me the emotional and physical drama are riveting and superbly realized.I will admit to some reservations about Williams's accent in early scenes...but soon became totally drawn in by the conviction of her performance. She is matched by a beautifully chosen and directed supporting cast.All in all a very unfairly overlooked film with a very important message which should resonate deeply with anyone willing to open their heart to it.