Thursday, March 7, 2013
The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991) Review
Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is a rookie FBI agent who is called in to try and convince famous criminal Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) to help out in a case to find a murderer known as Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine) who is kidnapping people and skinning them. Clarice's boss, Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn), believes that Hannibal has the answers to the case however Clarice must gain the trust of Hannibal and not fall under any of his mind games.
Yes, yes we all know how amazing the performances in this film are. Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins both got Oscars for this film and it's obvious why. Hannibal is a great character and is enjoyable to watch every second he's on screen. To be honest, he overshadows everything else in the film and you just crave more...hence why there are two other films (I should really watch those...). Jodie Foster also does a good job of playing the only sane character in the film and acts as a way of immersing yourself in the film. It's not as immersive as something like Lord of the Rings (not The Hobbit...too many frames per second, you see) but still, the film does create some memorable characters, moments, locations...every thing.
I'm sure there are some other aspects I could discuss but this is mainly a character driven film. The characters are the main reason that this film works. I had heard of Hannibal Lecter WAY before I watched this film so clearly there is something done right here. The only problem I have stems from a first time viewing. After watching this film a second time, everything makes sense. You may get lost the first time through so I guess that is technically a problem...a major problem...plus it may make some people feel uncomfortable (only two films have really made me uncomfortable...this is not one of them).
Silence of the Lambs has every right to be a classic. The cast does a fantastic job of playing iconic characters that help drive the film to a suspenseful climax. While you may get lost the first time, watch it again so that you can truly get a full grasp of the film. Yes, this is part of a trilogy but I haven't seen those (I have Red Dragon but...I've got a lot of my plate). Give this one a watch if your one of those people who don't mind being uncomfortable when watching a film (that scene in Skyfall sort of threw everything out..."What makes you think this is my first time?").
A true classic. Excellent acting helps drive an excellent plot for an iconic and unmissable film.