Incendies (Blu-ray Review)6 Sep, 2011 By: Angelique Flores
Box Office $2.04 million
$45.99 Blu-ray/DVD combo
Rated ‘R’ for some strong violence and language.
In French with English subtitles.
After a parent dies, it’s not unusual for siblings to squabble over the will. In Incendies, Nawal Marwan’s death puts her children in a whole new kind of mental tailspin.
Twins Jeanne and Simon are notified by notary Jean Lebel, Nawal’s former boss, friend and executor of her will, that they must search for a brother they never knew existed and a father they thought was dead.
Declaring Nawal was not the best mother, Simon wants nothing to do with it. Jean, however, leaves their home in Canada for some fictional Middle Eastern country (that most resembles Lebanon) to sort out her mother’s past and find the two men. Jean knows little about her mother’s life in this country and begins to unfurl her mother’s painful past. When Simon finally follows her to bring her home, he finds himself sucked into wanting more answers too.
Based on a play of the same name, this Best Foreign-Language Film nominee from Canada is a heartrending drama with elements of mystery behind Nawal’s story and the twins’ brother and father. As Jean and Simon learn new pieces of information about their mother, the audience sees Nawal’s life story unravel with all the painful details. The children’s — and audience’s — opinion of their supposedly bad mother is completely turned on its head.
Some of the actors don’t look the ages they probably are supposed to be, which is a bit distracting. But with a story and talented cast like this, it’s easy enough to overlook and be overcome by this gripping film.