Incendies Review

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Canadian twins Jean and Simon Marwal (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette) are summoned to the reading of their mother's last will and testament. Her last request soon leads them to delve back into her violent past.


In opening out Wajdi Mouawad's acclaimed stage play, Denis Villeneuve takes the melodramatic curse off a story whose contrivances acquire more sickening power with each new revelation, as twins Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin and Maxim Gaudette uncover the truth about late mother Lubna Azabal’s grim past in the fictional country of Fuad. Adroitly cutting between flashback and detection, Villeneuve generates thriller-like suspense, as the siblings seek the father they believed dead and the brother they never knew existed. But he also explores graver themes like the scars of conflict and the cruelty of fate. The performances are as imposing as André Turpin’s imagery. But the key to the film’s credibility is Villeneuve’s restraint.

A thriller that twists and turns with an understated power that will have you gripping the arm of your seat. Terrific stuff.