The limbo and blindness of Incendies tell the story of the twins in Montreal. They were called to her employer’s office after the death of their mother. She had worked for him about 20 years ago. After fleeing anger in the Lebanese-like country, she goes to her children and delivers a letter. Her mother asked Jeanne to give her property to the father they never knew. On the other hand, she also tells Simon to give his to a brother they do not know.
The thriller plot of Incendies becomes an obvious one that is not avoiding boldness. Denis Villeneuve wants to be more than just a thriller in showing how unreasonable it is to hate other people for religion. The subject’s relevance is there where the lesson from the film is that an accidental birth is not a reason to hate. Nawal, the mother of the twins, is a woman with many conclusions and interpretations when writing two letters.
Jeanne travels to the Middle East to fulfill her mother’s wish. However, Simon remains upset in Canada until he finds out how one plus one equals one. In a flashback of Jeanne’s conversation, the audience also learns about Nawal’s life. She was born a Christian but fell in love with a Muslim. After the death of her boyfriend, Nawal’s journey inspires a political, religious, and romantic odyssey. The people around Nawal were not murderers by nature.
However, they “killed” other people, on both sides, above but God. When many people die, they no longer need God. The day of the massacre, for Nawal Marwan, may be full of fanatics widely taking up arms. In such cases, Villeneuve shows an assassin killing a young teenager with a rifle. Wajdi Mouawad is the one who wrote the stage play from Incendies, adapted by Villeneuve as a visualization of a poetic monologue with an overhaul of action.
The Eerie Yet Poetic Opening Scene
The opening sequence of Incendies is unpleasant blindness, disturbing for a specific audience, and full of limbo. Slowly, it faded from black to the arid mountain landscape. Through a window frame and pan, slowly, it left to reveal a group of boys. Adults shave their heads where one person while another stands around holding a rifle. Along with the opening hum of You And Whose Army? by Radiohead, the sound slowly in the background is all the more worrying. The worst twist comes when the children are left hanging in the final suspense.
The cut ends the scene, promising a relief on several levels. There is a row of filing drawers towering over and replacing the shell of a burnt country building. It replaced the face of a boy, miserable, frightened, unknown, yet defiant. A drama replaces the atrocities of war by far. In addition, Denis Villeneuve contrasts a theme with significant stress and power. He puts an unexpected but familiar twist between a chaotic war-torn homeland and exile from the cold room.
The Logic Game
The base story of Incendies adapts a noir style of limbo and blindness set in a Middle Eastern country. It is a sad justification for how male characters are born to kill. While the film takes a Middle Eastern setting, it takes on a contemporary feel. By having battle scenes and taboo encounters such as merciless torture or rape, Nawal is never less attractive. The audience understands why she acts the way she does. Villeneuve’s directive does an adequate job of clarifying a blurred event. With cryptic dialogue, he reveals a surprising secret at the end of the film. The influence is quite successful in strict logic.
However, as stated by Roger Ebert, logic can be forgotten when the goal is a revelation. The revelation reveals the sadness of murder and the pathology of the world’s cruelty, like eating glass. The audience may assume that the twins have a right to know the truth about their father and brother. She could tell directly. However, by sealing the letters, she assigns a mission. The motive for Jeanne and Simon’s journey is essentially a device but undisturbed. The film moves the story with surprising results.
The Fire That Scorched the Building
When it comes to contrast, the audience connects two spaces of articulation between the Radiohead and Jean Lebel stretch. The camera slowly zooms in on the features of Lebel’s expression, the parallel panning motion prompting the audience to associate the moments in a formal pattern of echoes. By deepening the more linear opening of the film’s plot, it is inextricably tied to the intricate web of meaning traces. The marks persist in shattered life by visualizing repeated images of vehicle shells until buildings are burned. Incendies can be translated as “scorched.”
It refers to a place where a fire has occurred. The coverage extends beyond a trauma center in the Middle East into the seemingly everyday lives of the characters in Montreal. The search to send letters to the unknown father and brother took them to a loosely unnamed country. However, it is unmistakably based on the Lebanese native Mouawad, the playwright of the film. His family left at the start of the civil war when he was seven years old. He begins to review the tragic history of war while also uncovering a family drama of tragic dimensions.
The Villeneuve Arithmetic Formulas
In holding a basic principle, the Villeneuve scenario compresses a play of character and exposition in presenting a series of revelations. The effect is trying to destroy Nawal and her three children. In addition to the effects, the same compression opens the film to charge manipulation blanks regardless of the built-in preparation for encountering broken glass midway through the playground. The blindness of Incendies plays on the expectations of the audience’s fears by shamelessly manipulating Nawal’s suffering and endless limbo of revelations. Each one, as well as little by little, will become worse than the last. As a result, it is pulling the rug out from the bottom at the end.
When “one plus one equals one” opens two letters addressed to his two identities: the father and the son. The messages of the letters, apart from going against the instincts of the film’s narrative, were drowned in a wave of deep emotional punishment during the filming of the feature length. Even though Nawal has somehow gone beyond refusing to enter into the emotional vortex, melodrama takes audiences through a completely different channel. It is no longer imitating political arguments in understanding the mathematical cycle of Villeneuve violence. However, it is about rejecting a Villeneuve formulation. Mouawad cloaks an event in his home country in the garb of classic tragedy through his own instincts as well as for Villeneuve through the power of figurativeness.
The Implicit and Explicit Elements
While Villeneuve maintains a contemporary interconnection, he illustrates a more diffuse sense of drama division. In two moments of large-scale war, namely bus burning and massacres in camps, he closely reproduces the formative moments in the Lebanese brothers. He made explicit the many divisions between Christians and Muslims implicitly with Mouawad. In the central bus scene, Nawal stretches out by proclaiming herself a Christian by showing her cross. In fact, it is simple.
Villeneuve looks at how the Middle East conflict and the conflict on a large scale in both closed and open forms. He establishes a division in spatial terms by setting the main crossing point on a bridge. He builds a northern and southern border alongside the Christian and Muslim divides to a more subtle contrast from Montreal to Nawal’s home country. Visually, the difference is immeasurable between dark and depressed. However, it was full of the sound of chirping insects and the wind blowing the trees.
The Prediction of Confusion
Jeanne and Simon’s confusion, perhaps also for the audience, slowly subsided when faced with a historical entanglement without context. It is not easy to reflect on the situation. However, Jean Lebel stands to do a conventional narrative in the film. For the most part, the fluent letters were read in the mother’s voice, but Jean Lebel carried out the indications and dictation. He can know the final twist and act as an objective observer in the sanctity of his profession. It could also be that Lebel himself wrote the letter disguised as a typical but overthinking melodramatic convention.
Incendies could be a silly film in the context of a melodrama. However, it is undeniable if there is no more predictable storyline. The film Villeneuve refuses to completely rule out the possibility of imagining the mother writing the letter. The blindness ending of Incendies honestly does not solve anything in limbo. It is not only pardoning the central antagonism until it is allowed to remain free. However, his action proved to be a double-edged quality if it was a sign of the film’s success. It is a film making globalization theory to political tragedy.
- Bernard-Hoverstad, A. (2013). Framing Perceptions of Violence against Women in Film: Les Silences du Palais and Incendies.
- Ebert, R. (2011). Letter to an unknown ancestor. Roger Ebert.
- Hildenbrand, J. G., & Farias, F. Incendies: Trauma and the Gray Zone in Denis Villeneuve Film.
- Pike, D. L. (2011). Burning the Candle at Both Ends: Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies (2010). Bright Lights Film Journal.