Kindling is directed by Connor O’Hara. The film stars George Somner, Wilson Mbombio, Conrad Khan & Mia McKenna Bruce.
Inspired by actual events, Kindling introduces us to friends who return to their hometown to enjoy the final summer of their friend’s life. With death on the horizon for Sid, he wants to spend his last summer, making it one to remember. He wants it to be a celebration of his life, a celebration of his friendship with the group, and to do this, he gives each friend a category (love, home, friends, family, and location) which links them together. Next, Sid asks the group to find an item that connects their friendship to the word they have been given, with the end game is burning these items that they collect in a bonfire, an event that Sid believes will make him last forever.
Some films do more than bring out emotions; sometimes, they make you look at your life differently. These films don’t necessarily have to be the most well-made, but they must have a purpose, and I find myself searching these out. With Kindling, I immediately worked on a bucket list to tick off every item. The idea of knowing that death is coming within a specific timeframe and not having the physical strength to do things that I ever wanted scares the life out of me. The fact that the film was inspired by actual events heightened this fear and is what kept me invested throughout.
Many different relationships and dynamics intertwine throughout the film, but none are given enough time or context to make you care about them. The emotional heartbeat of the film instead comes from the predicament of the central character and the friendship group’s overall inability to cope with the death of their friend. The film’s final moments will bring most to tears; when the inevitable happens, it is both the narrative and emotional climax, which features an impeccable song choice.
Kindling starts off slow but heats up once the film’s emotional beats take centre stage.