The Invisible Man
I Am Not Okay with This
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It started off as an excellent film but three quarters of the way through went into an unbelievably silly mode with a scene at a train station superfluous and highly improbable which made the film thereafter move down in a spiral nosedive.
Pointless drama focusing on the misery of a woman who is cheating on her husband - and having an orgasm - at the exact moment her husband and child are blown up by a muslim suicide bomber at a soccer match. The guilt and shame also send her into the arms of her husband's boss before it is over. Dull and overlong, though Michelle Williams is very good.
Llore y llore pero me gusto mucho
You can tell that "Incendiary" comes from a place of profound emotion but it just doesn't work. Our protagonist (who is never given a name) is played by Michelle Williams; she's the mother of a four year-old son (also not named) and is married to a police officer in charge of defusing bombs (Lenny, played by Nicholas Gleaves). One night when her husband is away, the young mother sneaks off to a bar and has sex with a womanizing reporter named Jasper (Ewan McGregor). The next day, the mom and Jasper bump into each other again. She invites him up to her apartment and he decides not to attend the soccer game he had a ticket for. While they are having sex, she overhears a news report of a series of suicide bombings inside the stadium where Lenny and her son were watching the game (the same game Jasper blew off). Her son and husband are dead, along with about a 1,000 others. The film follows the mother as she tries to deal with her grief and confront the people around her.
From that setup, this actually sounds like a pretty good movie and it could have been, but some questionable choices in terms of the characters, story and direction sink this movie right down to the bottom of the ocean floor. This is one of those dramatic films about loss where the characters are extremely simple in an effort to make them more relatable to the people watching the movie. The son isn't even given a name, so feel free to insert your own and he's the sweetest, most well behaved kid there is. Anyone who has been around a four-year old knows that they have their moments of cuteness, but they're often loud, destructive and hard to put up with but you wouldn't know that from "Incendiary". I realize that most of the scenes where we see the kid are from flashbacks, but the other characters are similarly one-dimensional. The father is given very few moments and aside from the fact that he's a police officer, loves his soccer and loves his son, I can barely remember anything about him. Neither can the wife in fact because once her son is gone, we see plenty of soft-lit scenes of the boy giggling or playing with toys but the dad is never seen again. I know this woman was cheating on her husband, but come on, she didn't hate him!
To compensate for the flat characters, the drama is poured on heavily here. According to the film, when a tragedy hits London, it's customary for them to release balloons in the air so here, the city bands together to create a thousand inflatable balloons, each decorated with the face of a victim from the terrorist attack and they are all anchored to various buildings around the city for all to see. That might seem a bit costly and odd but if it wasn't for that plot development, then we couldn't have the scene later in the film where the mother contemplates suicide but decides not to do it upon seeing the giant inflatable face of her son against the clear blue sky. The overwhelming sentimentality makes the movie predictable and I rolled my eyes furiously seeing the mother have a total mental breakdown to the point of having hallucinations of her son while petting the dirty, torn-up stuffed rabbit he brought with him to the stadium.
Because of the overly dramatic moments, the movie feels very manipulative. If that wasn't bad enough, we have some incredibly weird additions to the story that either go nowhere or are just confusing. After her loss, the woman's therapist suggests that she write a letter to the man responsible for the bombing. So for about two thirds of the movie we frequently cut to a narration of her talking to the Osama Bin Laden, telling him about how wonderful her son was and how he wouldn't have attacked the country if he had known him and wondering if he feels remorse and that sort of thing. I'm not saying I, or anyone watching the movie won't understand what is being said here, I'm saying the inclusion of this belongs in a different movie. It just feels so odd hearing someone say "Dear Osama..." over and over because it's just so silly said out loud. There is also a very strange plot element here that makes you think this movie is going to turn into a ridiculous conspiracy thriller and makes me wonder what the people involved were thinking. Reporter Jasper is feeling pretty bad about his "girlfriend's" loss and because he was supposed to attend the game too, he's pretty shaken up about the whole thing. He begins using his journalist connections to look at some of the surveillance tape of the game and discovers the identity of the terrorist. Looking at the police reports though, he realizes that the public has not been told who this man is. He asks himself why, and how this connects to the police chief who is flirting heavily with the mother. Bringing this information to her, the two of them track down the terrorist's family and she befriends the son, looking for answers. What is going on here? Did someone know the terrorist attack was going to happen, and could it somehow be connected to the woman? You'd think I'd be spoiling a big surprise by telling you what's going on, but the answer is that it's a big load of nothing. There is no conspiracy and nobody knew anything about the terrorist attack. Why even introduce the idea then? Didn't we have enough going on with the grief and the loss of the family?
It all ends on a hopeful, but schmaltzy note that brings it down even more. I wish I could tell you exactly what it was, but I know there's going to be someone out there that will get suckered in by this plot and think that because of the carefully manipulated elements and the inevitable reaction that they had that this is a good movie that shouldn't be spoiled. Fine. Let me ask you this though, is it possible to make a drama about a young child being forcefully taken away from his mother that isn't at least a little bit sad? What does this movie do that makes it any more affecting that those infomercials about the starving children or the sad puppies that need to be adopted? Most frustrating of all is the credits at the end of the movie, dedicating the film to a real life person that lost their child. My heart goes out to that person and I'm sincerely sorry for your loss but this movie is not a good one. I do have one positive remark, that Michelle Williams really is terrific in the role here. She makes the most out of a movie and a role that's mediocre at best. If anything, "Incendiary" will only get a rise out of you because it uses every trick in the book. (On Dvd, January 19, 2014)
Michelle Williams turns in a great performance, one of her -- if not the -- best IMO, but the film itself is filled with major plot holes, inconsistencies, and implausible twists that don't seem to make much sense. I was mildly entertained, but I'm not sure I can explain why. Its main problem is that it doesn't know if it wants to be a tear-jerking drama about grief and guilt . . . or a political thriller. Or a terrorist tale. It's a little of all and none of any. Probably something to skip, unless you're stuck on a plane and the other options are worse.
Incendiary ropes us in with an intriguing plot, then drops 1000 bricks on us.
Comedy, drama, romance, tragedy, psychological strangeness.. This movie has everything. Which isn't a good thing.
I don't know, I didn't buy it. It all seemed so artificial to me. And that mix of criminal plot with psychological vivisection of personal tragedy. It didn't work out. Brought to my mind incomparably better "Rabbit Hole".
Amazing performance from Michelle Williams who looked as stunning as ever. A solid one from Ewan McGregor. A very solid movie all-around.
somehow strange movie, full of pain and eventhough life might send huge examinations people can find strength in themselves to carry on and start from beginning.
Didn't really need the affair at the beginning, this could have been just as powerful without it.