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TIFF 2020: “Wildfire”


Rating: 3 out of 5.

There is no need to watch movies to understand the fact that society has never been tolerant towards mentally ill people. I personally don’t need to read about that in the news, I have witnessed it many times in public transit. That judgmental look, as if they knew and know better. As if they are the ones who own the society while those who see the world differently or called “different” must be locked up.

I grant it that there are many cases that would prove me wrong. And that’s not something I would argue about. But ever time when I watch films lie “Wildfire”, it proves me right each time. The movie follows Kelly (Nika McGuigan) who, suddenly reappears after being filed as a missing person. Upon returning to her sister, Lauren (Nora-Jane Noone), known in the town as twins because of their resemblance, chaos erupts, forcing Lauren to choose between her mentally unstable sister and her job, structured and happy life.

There are many secrets revealed in “Wildfire”. But it does not take a genius to figure that Kelly is not welcomed in the town. Neighbors do not want to see her around as they see her a potentially dangerous person. In reality, Kelly can be easily controlled to ensure she doesn’t harm anyone or herself, but the unfriendly attitude of her community gaslights her shattered mind to force her to do things that are considered hazardous.

Directed by Cathy Brady, “Wildfire” captures the dark side of sisterhood, its connection, and the level of sacrifice both won’t hesitate to make. It’s a beautifully told story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The injustice, cruelty and misconception of the society are all covered well in “The Wildfire” that, based on what happens in the film, aptly justifies its title.

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