Saturday, March 21, 2015

Film Review: The Silence (2010)

The Silence (Review)
Germany/2010
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...will stay with me long after I finish this review – that's saying something."

In the summer of 1986, a young girl was raped and murdered in a wheat field. 23 years later, the exact crime is committed again...
 
The Silence primarily follows unstable detective David (Sebastian Blomberg) and senior detective Krischan (Burghart Klau├čner), who investigated the original case, as they race to track the suspect. In the meantime, the film also follows the family of the victims and the family of a suspect. It's not necessarily a surprising or twisted plot, but it's definitely well-executed. The ending, however, left me questioning the overall competence of the cops. The film takes place in 2009, it shouldn't be that hard to link the pieces – then again, maybe I'm nitpicking.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Silence. If you're a fan of films like Memories of Murder and Se7en, this is definitely worth your time. Of course, as I stated, this film is a little different. Fortunately, it mostly works out in the end. The fact that this film focuses on exploring its characters – detectives, family members, and suspects – makes this film feel fresh. It doesn't have twists and it's not oozing with originality, but it works – that's enough for me. There's plenty of suspense and tension, and some surprising eeriness. Some scenes genuinely sent shivers down my spine.

It is a slow paced film, though, so be warned. I didn't mind, I love slow-burn movies, but it might not be for everyone. The only issue I had was with the ending. It's only satisfying to a point. I'm not a detective, but from what I saw, the pieces to this puzzle could have easily been linked. You have a character who actually carries a piece of significant evidence and, by the end, she seems to have forgotten her investigative skills. It just seems like the timing for certain scenes and some actions are too convenient for the plot.

The acting was great. Sebastian Blomberg delivers a strong performance as the unstable detective. Wotan Wilke Mohring also delivers a wonderful performance. The film is shot beautifully, I really liked the cinematography and camerawork. The music is perfect for the tone and genre, helped set the eerie mood, too. Director Baran bo Odar crafts an engaging and effective mystery. Some of the writing was contrived, but it wasn't too detrimental to the experience. In fact, I applaud the writing for exploring the characters while still managing to develop a strong mystery.

Overall, The Silence is a great film. It's expertly crafted to keep you on edge and engaged from beginning to end. If you enjoy mystery/crime films, I think you'll enjoy this one. There are a few minor issues with the writing and ending, but it ultimately entertained. Some of the disturbing subject-matter will stay with me long after I finish this review – that's saying something.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Violence and blood, brief sex and full nudity.

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