'Inescapable' an honourable effort

Liz Braun, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:07 AM ET

In Ruba Nadda's new drama, Inescapable, a man in search of his daughter must return to Syria and immerse himself in the life he had hoped to escape forever.

Alexander Siddig stars as Adib, a businessman living in Canada with his wife and two adult daughters. The older daughter, Muna, is a photographer travelling abroad on holiday, and Adib is horrified to discover she has taken a side trip into Syria. No one has heard from her since her arrival in Damascus.

Well aware of the danger she's in, Adib reconnects with several people from his past and leaves home to return to Syria. He is determined to find his daughter and get her back home to Canada, but Adib has unfinished business in his native country.

He crosses into Syria helped by Fatima (Marisa Tomei), a woman who seems to have carried a torch for Adib for the nearly 30 years since he fled Syria. Adib's own dark history helps him negotiate the bureaucracy and levels of paranoia in the country, but even his connection at the Canadian embassy (Joshua Jackson) appears to be hiding something. And an old friend (Oded Fehr) in the defense department is obviously less than thrilled to see Adib.

Damascus is a city mired in fear. Time is not on Adib's side as he searches for his daughter.

Filmmaker Ruba Nadda brings her own memories of Syria to the mix in Inescapable, a story that reflects the tension and intrigue the director encountered during her years in the country. The film is shaped as a political thriller, but the emotion of a desperate father looking for his child makes Inescapable accessible; the stakes are personal.

All the performances are solid and it's nice to see Siddig in a lead role, but the movie wobbles a bit in the action scenes, which could have used some beefing up. They reflect a lower budget. As she proved with Cairo Time, Nadda is adept at the smaller, more emotional story, and Inescapable may have been too big to tackle.

liz.braun@sunmedia.ca

 


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