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DVD Review – Incendiary

Like Mike
Like Mike

Just go to any video store, or I guess DVD store is a better term these days, and you will see so many films on the new release stand that are filled with big name stars, but the films themselves you’ve never heard of. Of course it makes sense that only the cream-of-the-crop makes it to New Zealand cinemas, but when you have a film with so much talent on screen and it didn’t make it to our screens, you know something must be ‘off’ with it. Not all the time, of course, but it’s a safe bet at the very least. So when I had the chance to review ‘Incendiary’, which stars Ewan McGregor and Michelle Williams, and knew it went straight to DVD here, I thought it could be pretty average.  However, I’m always interested to check those films out to see why they didn’t work. As a film maker myself, knowing why something didn’t work is an important thing for my own growth in making films. So, with that in mind, I ordered my review copy and sat down ready for a lesson in what may have sunk this film with big named talent leading it.

“Grief, guilt, and betrayal. In London's East End, a young mother dotes on her four-year-old son and lives in a modest flat with her husband, a cop in the bomb squad. The Arsenal football team is their religion. On May Day, a major terrorist attack brings tragedy while she is in the arms of a rich reporter who lives over the road. She wishes she were dead. In grief and guilt, she pursues revenge, faces betrayal, experiences delusions, and may be suicidal. Two men seek her affection: the reporter and a colleague of her husband's who imagines caravan camping with her on a beach. In London, the city of the Great Fire and of Hitler's bombardment, is there any way back to life for her?”

Ewan McGregor is such a great actor, but somehow they made him pretty unlikeable in this film. Of course his character is meant to have bad qualities, but it was deeper than that and almost felt like the director didn’t know how to use him. On the other hand, I think Michelle Williams was simply stunning in this film, if not also finding herself struggling through some scenes, but she was easily the best thing about the film. It was entertaining to a point, but I can see why it may not have struck a chord with an audience. By the end I could see it would be one that would quickly leave my memory, all but for Michelle Williams though, who I think is one of Hollywood’s top young actresses at the moment.

6.5 out of 10 from me.

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