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Incredible But True (Fantasia 2022 Film Review)

3 min read

The simplest of ideas can become the most complex stories. Delving deeper into an idea that on the surface seems bizarre and too ridiculous to comprehend, along comes Quentin Dupleux with another strange tale that literally no one thought of making. Dupleux's films are that of fantasy and other genres mixed in a bottle and sprayed out to its' audiences, so they are a perfect fit for Fantasia Film Festival. Incredible But True is another success in this writer and director's catalogue of the strange and unusual.

Middle aged couple, Alain and Marie's lives are completely altered when they buy a house in a quiet suburban neighbourhood after discovering the powers of a hatch in the basement. Warned upon moving in, the hatch allows you to travel 12 hours into the future and also makes you 3 days younger. While Marie becomes obsessed with the hatch, Alain tries to live a normal life. Alongside this issue with the house, Alain's friend and boss Gerard, has problems of his own, specifically with his technologically enhanced genitals.

Including time travel, age reversal and illegal technology all in one film, is a skill in story telling especially as none of these elements overtake the story. The fallout and how the very average characters use and abuse these ideas is what the real story is about, as well as how we cope with getting older and the societal obsession with trying to stay young. Marie behaves like this hatch in the house is her second chance at life. Gerard chooses to enhance himself with technology he doesn't fully understand in order keep up with his younger girlfriends. Alain is the only one who simply wants to live the life he has and cannot understand why the others are obsessed with these changes. The real worry and turning point in the film is the discovery of the rotten apple, it is a warning that is skipped over by Marie. But despite a reassurance from a doctor, Alain is still sceptical and rightly so. Nothing comes without a price and there is always a catch. The hatch itself is a catch as part of a decently priced and amazing house. The warning is there from the start.

Though there is a slow build up to what we can guess will inevitably happen, it's interesting to see that Dupleux decides to speed up the third act of the film with a montage. It's an odd choice cinematically but story wise we get see how long it takes Marie to achieve her goal and the fallout from her choices. To show the passing of time, we also get to see what happens to Gerard, with his penis, his relationships and ultimately his demise. This is another strange decision made as it has no real impact on the main plot and serves as a conclusion to a side story.

Within the final scenes of the film, its feels as though Dupleux is warning us. Just like the age old saying, ‘be careful what you wish for', this is possibly what Dupleux is ultimately trying to say underneath the placidly strange tone of the entire film. Or it could be that this is just how this story plays out and has run its unnatural course. Either way, it's another intriguing and enjoyable watch from this writer/director.

Incredible But true screened at this year's  Film Festival