I’ve seen the novel Incendiary in bookshops for sometime, and it’s always calling out to me. The premise sounds intriguing, but every-time I pick it up and read a couple of chapters the writing style never seems to grab me. So I never purchase it. Fortunately Sharon Maguire made the book into a film, that is now available on DVD.
The premise is simple; Michelle Williams plays the key role of a young mother married to a bomb disposal expert who is essentially married to his job. It seems that have been drifting apart for some time. It’s possible that their only connection is their son, who loves going to football games with his dad. It’s on a football day that the young mother meets Jasper (played by Ewan McGregor) and allows herself to be seduced by him, taking her back to her flat and copulating on the couch whilst the football game is on in the background (presumably so that she knows when to kick Jasper out).
Halfway through the match – and the intimate games on the couch – a huge explosion rips through the stadium and the film picks up speed.
Watching a naked Ewan McGregor having sex on the couch is the only low point of Incendiary. It’s a story that spins an interesting web, never allowing you to know what direction it’s really going in. Michelle Williams does an exceptional job of portraying a range of emotions, from bored mother, grieving wife to a complete nut-case on the edge of sanity.
And it’s good that we’ve got her to focus on, because Ewan just seems to be going through the motions, just like he was on the couch.
But it’s really the story that will grab you with Incendiary, but I don;t want to ruin it by saying too much -which in turn makes writing a review harder – but I will say that it keeps up the tradition of well made British dramas, and is one that doesn’t force an ending down your throat, rather leaves you thinking about what you’ve just watched, and thinking about several of the key characters and their motives.
It’s by no means the perfect film, but it gives Hollywood a run for it’s money by being a smart and engrossing drama/thriller.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read