Web Exclusive: The Silence Film Review
THE SILENCE, Music Box Films 2010
Ever wake up in the morning to realize not only that you might be a child molester but that you have most definitely witnessed a murder? No? Me neither, but this is exactly the scenario that Timo Friedrich finds himself in, “Das Letzte Schweigen” the German film released by Music Box Films, alternatively titled “The Silence” for release in the United States in 2010.
And if you do find yourself in this particularly unique scenario, what on Earth do you do?! Hop the first bus out of town, get married, become an architect, start a family, and lead a normal life…
Or at least that’s what Timo does, that is until the exact same murder is duplicated detail by detail 23 years later and broadcast into his unsuspecting, tranquil, and quite lavish German home by a swath of news coverage.
Now enter a wonderfully complex cast of deeply conflicted characters including the mother of the girl who was originally murdered who lives a life of seclusion surrounded by the unmoved possessions of her daughter, the retired detective racked with guilt over his failure to solve the first murder, the parents of the girl murdered in the present case who are told by the German authorities to wait patiently at home while police detectives look for the body of their daughter holding out hope that perhaps she has only run away, the newly widowed and deeply depressed detective who is assigned to the current case and his partner who is blonde, beautiful and incredibly pregnant.
At the helm of this cast of characters is the most conflicted of them all, the presently crumbling Timo, who is shaken to the core by the murder, leaving his wife, job, and children to travel back to the town he once occupied, committed to plunge himself headlong into his own personal darkness in order to unravel the mystery that he had been working so hard to ignore for the last 23 years.
A series of flashbacks guide us through the genesis of the first murder and the mysterious explanation of the second as the sanity of the characters continues to deteriorate in this beautiful and complex film.
File with Happiness, The Woodsman, and Mysterious Skin.
Pickford Cinema April 12-18th.
Review by William E. Badgley