The Incident isn’t a bad film, from a technical standpoint. The camera stays pointing the right way, the minimalist soundtrack works, the cast all turned up for the full schedule, the script has lines of dialogue instead of just animal sounds and body functions. But, in other ways, it really IS bad. So bad that the badness negates all of the goodness. I left the cinema feeling angry for having my time wasted by it.
Ruta Gedmintas and Tom Hughes are a successful, middle-class (or perhaps even upper-class) couple who end up going through a difficult time. Or, to be more precise, both of them end up having separate encounters with a young girl named Lily (Tasha Connor) that you know could cause them to have a difficult time. And that’s it.
I am not going to expend too much of my anger on the cast so I’ll just mention now that they all seem to do okay with the material given to them. Connor is the best one, perhaps due to the fact that her character is the least bland of the lot, but Gedmintas is perfectly fine, while Hughes has to be the standard successful hubby who is also often too cold or inconsiderate to his lovely wife.
Jane Linfoot, on the other hand, can take all of the blame. Having both written and directed this interminably dull piece of patronising nonsense, she is the person I hold directly responsible for my wasted time and effort today. But you don’t make any effort while watching a film, you may say. Sometimes that is true, sometimes it isn’t. When I’m watching a movie that seems to be offering me more than simple, shallow entertainment then I will be focusing more on details and characterisations. I’ll be considering the psychological aspects of many scenes, and I’ll be hoping that the whole endeavour is leading somewhere interesting and/or incisive. The Incident leads nowhere, with the exception of a fantasy film world in which well-to-do people react to being forced to encounter someone far less well-to-do by seeking to understand them, and even figure out how they can be helpful. I’m sure there are some people like this. But nothing in this movie felt that it was being true to the characters, or even true to life.
The film will have its fans. Every film does. Good on you if you end up being one of them. Just know that we’ll never understand one another. Definitely not recommended.
The Incident is screening at EIFF 2015 on 24th and 26th June.
WRITER/DIRECTOR: JANE LINFOOT
STARS: RUTA GEDMINTAS, TOM HUGHES, TASHA CONNOR
RUNTIME: 94 MINS APPROX