The seemingly-unbreakable bond between mother and son is explored in this often beautifully-shot Spanish drama in the Galician language that deals with themes such as rehabilitation, community and ambiguity in a suitably-paced manner.

Fire Will Come focuses on a middle-aged man Amador (Amador Arias) who is released from prison after serving a sentence for arson. He moves back into the mountainous region of Galicia to live with his elderly mother (Benedicta Sanchez) to help out on their cow farm with glimpses of a positive future in sight.

Even though he is looked at by the townsfolk with an element of suspicion and mockery over his past behaviour and living virtually as a loner, he is still permitted to resume his life as normal. But a life-threatening incident of ambiguous connotations has the potential to change all that.

Though on for just 80 minutes, the film keeps the attention sustained at the hands of its director Oliver Laxe, who spends a portion giving notice of landscape, bringing to mind the works of Herzog and Malick. At times, he takes advantage of the geographical location to show us some breath-taking scenery punctuated by the sunny or misty landscape featured. It is a film that is very much imagery driven, notably in the opening sequences which appears as a montage of work being done at night in a forest and the lengthy depiction of the said incident presented.

The two lead actors, Arias and Sanchez, both make their debut roles with Sanchez deservedly winning the Best New Actress award in her native country’s Goya awards at the ripe age of 84. She delivers a quietly poignant performance as a mother whose dynamic with her son’s return is represented in a gentle and unrestrained manner throughout; a woman needing her son more than he needs her as he randomly turns up without protest, his crime clearly forgotten. A moment towards the end where she just shows an ordinary reaction at what occurs presents a touching performance in that she does not require words to make her status as a caring mother effective, notably given her old age.

It does not answer many of the questions the third act entails and the film ends before they can really be analysed, but the stance of ambiguity provided is part of the film’s success. What is asked is if people can be rehabilitated and what comes next if they are or vice versa. Are people driven to do things because of their inability to escape from their reputation, or is the reputation they’ve developed shamed them as such they really do escape from it? Is the film’s final act some sort of coincidence? Is it destiny? Whatever the answers are, the path taken to get there is solid enough as a piece of distinct storytelling. 

OUT OF FOUR STARS: *** ��

Published by thenorthwalescritic

Hello, film fans. There is room for one more critic with a difference. For anyone looking at what are the best films out there, whether to watch in cinema, streamed, DVD, TV, your choice where, I will write several film reviews each month. I will be writing these from several days to up to several weeks after their initial release because after all, just because the film comes out on a weekend, doesn't mean its only going to be seen that weekend. This will be so it won't be lost amongst the avalanche of reviews that come out on the same day. As well, there will be articles about the current climate of cinema, recommendations of some obscure movies and maybe the odd mention of some films not quite worthy of their reputation. My opinion, your decision to enter.

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