Film Review: The Silence Of The Lambs

It’s not often that you can describe a movie as a classic, and truly mean it. Quite often people throw it at a film, hoping it sticks, or you’ll see it emblazoned across a movie poster either preceded or succeeded by three little dots, telling you that all may not be as it seems.

But, The Silence Of The Lambs, is one of the few movies you can actually describe as a classic and truly mean it. However you want to analyse it: plot, script, performances, cinematography, direction, it just oozes quality. Whether you like horror movies or not, it is simply 2 hours of breathtaking film making. There are only 3 films to date to win “the big five” at the Academy Awards, and it is one. Enough said.

I’m not really a big horror genre fan, I don’t mind them but I wont search them out just for the sake of it, and The Silence of the Lambs isn’t the type of film I’d naturally gravitate towards for an evenings viewing, but when the film making is this good I am happy to make an exception.

Whether it’s the fact that the film effortlessly takes two plots, twisted together and run in parallel, never quite affording either greater reputation than the other and masterfully manages to engage you in both at the same time, or the character development, use of language and the pace at which they are combined that never overwhelms or confuses but demands a level of concentration to leaves you almost feeling drained and exhausted as if you yourself have just been analyzed by Hannibal Lector himself.

The film is dark, and while not directly “in your face” scary, psychologically, it is petrifying. It uses the strength of of thought, to plant and then fester, grow and mature ideas and situations within you that leave you fearful, for instance, of entering a dark room and play on your mind for quite a while afterwards.

It truly is a case that this film is so close to being perfect, so close to achieving absolutely everything is set out to do, that you almost feel that it can’t be as good as it is. It’s one of those situations where you feel like you need to start picking fault in it because you don’t want to be another lamb, another lemming waxing lyrical about it.

And I can only find two things to stop the lyrics. Firstly, and this is hardly a sustainable, or unsurprising criticism of the film, in 2014 it is looking and feeling dated. It’s hasn’t aged well and unfortunately is showing its age. You could counter this by the fact, that while it looks dated, you never feel like you’re watching an “old” film, and it never fails to keep you gripped, involved and on the edge of your seat.

Secondly, and the only reason I will never give The Silence of the Lambs 10/10, Jodie Foster’s acting just loses it way at the film draws to its climax. She just sadly, while attempting to show a combination of blindness mixed with naivety, walks just a bit too close to wooden that you for a fleeting moment, focus more on her acting than the situation she is in. And it’s such a shame because the rest of the film is so good, that to stumble, however slightly, this close to the end leaves you tinged ever so slightly with a sour taste this film doesn’t deserve.

9 out of 10 stars (9 / 10)

Posted on by 5WC in Film First Edition

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