Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Silence of the Lambs

I just watched The Silence of the Lambs for the first time. I think it could now rightly be called a classic as it celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. An interesting fact I was not aware of is that this movie is based on the novel by Thomas Harris.

I would never watch Hannibal or the Saw movies, and I mistakenly lumped this movie in with those for a long time. Some time ago, a friend detailed for me the basic plot, since I told her I wouldn't be watching it, and since then, I've actually been interested. I was told it was more suspense than horror, and while there are horrific R-rated elements in it, this statement is true.

The Silence of the Lambs is about getting into the head of a serial killer...or him getting into yours. Clarice Starling is an FBI student who has been recruited to interrogate one-time psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter in his cell, where he has resided the past 8 years. There are strict rules about seeing him. Don't go near the glass. Don't accept anything from him. Don't give him anything but soft paper, not stapled together. And don't tell him anything personal. But from the beginning, Lecter controls his conversations with Clarice, and when he offers to help her capture another serial killer, she begins to play a dangerous game with him.

There are still elements you will want to be cautious about seeing in this film. Those include flayed skin, images of the naked backsides of murdered women, the brutal beating and murder of two security guards (perhaps the most gruesome and graphic part of the movie, though the worst is done off-camera), and a man dressed in a naked women's skin (which caught me off-guard but wasn't quite as disturbing as it sounds). There's also bad language, including the F-word, but it's used infrequently.

I do not recommend this movie unless you are interested in psychology and behavioral science or you are a student of film. I give it three stars for being well-crafted. It probably deserves more, but my moral objections stop me there. This movie interested me, and I do not regret watching it, though there are images that may take awhile to fade from memory.

1 comment:

  1. I've seen a few movies I was glad I watched once but have no interest in seeing again. Like "Sin City," a mesmerizing and stylish film, but full of (for lack of a better term) smut.


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