The latest film from writer/director Doug Phillips, Incidental is a thought-provoking film about a married couple struggling to overcome the lasting impact of war and lingering effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Ben (Doug Phillips) has largely moved past the impact of his years in Vietnam, however, Rona (Kate Cloutier) is still struggling with the linger effects of PTSD from her time in Desert Storm.
Can she get the help she needs?
In 19 minutes, Incidental certainly isn't going for a comprehensive examination of the issue but instead focuses its attention almost squarely upon the heartbreaking impact of PTSD on Rona and how it impacts her life and the lives of those around her. The film benefits greatly from the presence of Kate Cloutier, whose presence exudes both the calm confidence necessary to convince as a soldier and the aching vulnerability of a woman whose experiences have unquestionably left a powerful impact.
Phillips covers all the bases in creating an insightful story that represents reality for many men and women returning from war. It's a film that is in spots hindered by its low budget, but Phillips wisely focuses his energy on the story itself and, perhaps more appropriately, on the character of Rona. D.P. Andy Winters lenses the film quite well by capturing the silent nuances of each characters body language and facial expressions.
The recently completed Incidental is just beginning its festival run and should find a home on the indie, underground and micro-budget festival circuit. Fans of meaningful social drama should definitely catch it if given a chance.