TIFF Review: Encounter Is An Intriguing, Intense Thriller Led By Riz Ahmed

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TIFF Review: Encounter Is An Intriguing, Intense Thriller Led By Riz Ahmed

Encounter weaves a mysterious tale that is filled with intensity, high stakes, incredibly deep and nuanced performances, and changing perspectives.

If Riz Ahmed is in the leading role of a film, then the audience can at least rest assured that his performance will be one worth watching. Such is the case in Encounter, a film with sci-fi elements that ultimately unfolds to become a tantalizing psychological drama with an emotional center. Directed by Michael Pearce from a screenplay by him and Joe Barton, Encounter weaves a mysterious tale that is filled with intensity, high stakes, incredibly deep and nuanced performances, and changing perspectives.

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A former marine, Malik Khan (Ahmed) is watching for signs of an alien invasion, one that is quietly overtaking the country following a meteor shower that brought a parasitic creature to Earth. Preying on people through insect bites and burying itself deeply in their skin, Malik is worried because these aliens can presumably take over a host’s body without anyone being the wiser. It’s under this line of thinking that he creeps into his ex-wife Piya’s (Janina Gavankar) house at night to take his two sons — Jay (Lucian-River Chauhan) and Bobby (Aditya Geddada) — to safety, believing Piya has been infected. 

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