‘The Incident’, the first feature-length film to be directed by Jane Linfoot, looks at how a series of small mistakes can lead to one bad situation. Successful and affluent couple Annabel (Ruta Gedmintas) and Joe (Tom Hughes) have finally managed to get some time away from their jobs to spend instead with each other in their idyllic home in the rural outskirts. Whilst waiting for a takeaway pizza Joe is forced into conversation with Lily (Tasha Connor), a young local prostitute, who eventually convinces him to partake in her services, so to speak. Afterwards he drives home with his cold pizza, but can’t get what he’s done out of his mind.
Blissfully unaware of what’s happened or who Lily is, Annabel then sees her whilst she’s waiting at the train station, and she can see that something is up with her. She has the opportunity to help but chooses not to, instead focusing on getting home so she can take a pregnancy test whilst Joe is back at work. Little do the couple know but both of their actions are going to lead to something much worse, and the cracks in their own relationship will only get bigger.
Sounds like a good premise, right? That’s what I thought too when I read the synopsis on the back of the ol’ DVD case. This is the problem with the film – it’s a great idea, but when it’s put into practice it just didn’t work the way I envisage it was planned. The main issue is that the story starts of great but quickly descends into a dead-end plot – all of the suspense was in the first half leading up to the big event, and then after that it just sort of petered out. Unfortunately it just feels drab, and is so slow-moving at points that it feels like it’s never going to resolve.
The other issue was that I completely struggled to relate to any of the characters aside from Lily at certain points. The two main characters are hardly the type of people you’re drawn into immediately – one is a lifeless man who is easily led by a vulnerable young prostitute, and the other is a self-centred bitch with no intention of helping others and clearly no consideration for anyone but herself (judging by the frequent wine and cigarettes following the news from the pregnancy test). They both irritated me to no end and I couldn’t feel any sort of compassion towards any of them, instead wishing that they’d both just split up and move apart so the whole drama would cease to exist.
Despite all of this, some parts of the film were fantastic – Linfoot’s ability to direct so much suspense into a film is captivating, and she coupled this with a soundtrack so unsettling that I felt really on edge for most of the film. It was also thoughtfully shot, but again this all happened much more in the first half where the majority of the story happened.
I’d hoped for more from ‘The Incident’, but sadly it wasn’t to be. It really was a promising idea from a director with collection of shorts bearing similar, ‘need-to-be-talked-about’ themes under her belt – it just didn’t deliver.
The Incident at CeX
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