Incendiary (DVD Review)5 Apr, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Prebook 4/7/09; Street 5/5/09
$27.98 DVD, $35.98 Blu-ray
Stars Michelle Williams, Ewan McGregor, Matthew Macfadyen.
It’s been said a mother/child relationship is the strongest bond in a child’s early life.
As a young working-class mother in a loveless marriage, Michelle Williams’ (whose own relationship with the late Heath Ledger gives added poignancy to her performance) rapport with her young son (Sidney Johnston) is put to the test in a most tragic way.
The boy and his father (who ironically works in the London police bomb squad) are among the scores of victims in a suicide bombing carried out by Islamic terrorists at a soccer match.
The disaster is worsened by the fact that the woman was having sex at the time of the attack with a sleazy neighbor (Ewan McGregor).
Despite her stoic persona, Williams is wracked with guilt. Her sense of loss soon turns to anger, insanity and resolve when she realizes that the wife of one of the bombers works in a neighboring pharmacy and has a son (introducing Usman Khokhar) slightly older than hers.
The film is based on Chris Cleave’s novel, which was published the day of the London subway bombings in 2005. Writer-director Sharon Maguire (Bridget Jones's Diary) expertly wields a female touch on a contemporary terrorist drama that focuses more on the emotional wounds than exacting physical revenge.
Grief can be enduring and self-destructive. Williams showcases that it doesn’t have to be that way.