Friday, August 23, 2013

The Silence: Feel Good Movie of Never!

THE SILENCE: Another entry in the Germanic/Norwegian noir category popularized by "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", but the "The Silence" is less thriller than it is a somber mediation on loneliness.  It opens with two 30-ish guys coming up on a teenage girl... one of the men attacks, rapes and murders the girl while the other watches in mute horror/fascination.  When it's done, the "accomplice" packs up his stuff and leaves his murderous friend, but does not call the police.

23 years later, another young girl is murdered in exactly the same way.  In a slow build, we find the accomplice in an entirely different space, shocked that there's been another murder.  The cop who investigated but never solved the old murder has just retired but wants to help with the investigation, and the mother of the first victim continues to grieve over her daughter.  On top of that, another cop on the case is suffering a near nervous breakdown after the death of his wife from cancer five months earlier.  Like my title line suggests, it's not exactly the Three Stooges...

How all these characters eventually come into one another's orbit is the slow genius of the movie.  The why of the second murder becomes the signature question, and I'm pleased to say that there actually is an answer and it is simultaneously surprising, sad and compelling.

It's not exactly light viewing, but "The Silence" is beautifully shot and remains true to its subject matter... as in, there's no last act car chase.  The blu-ray comes with two short films by the same director (I haven't seen them yet) and cast/crew commentary...        

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