This is supposed to be one of the classic crime thrillers, and for completely understandable reasons at that! Studying a film course, I felt this was one I had to finally watch, and I don’t know why I left it so long! It is an 18 and for good reason, it swears, there are dead bodies, and there is a bit of blood and gore.
The plot goes: ambitious FBI trainee Clarice (Jodie Foster) is sent to the one and only lethal Dr Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) to try and discover if this cannibal knows who Buffalo Bill is. The man who has been kidnapping women, keeping them for three days and then skinning them. If you haven’t seen this and have seen any episode of ‘Criminal Minds’, it follows a pretty similar line to the programme (obviously the film was the original). The FBI are on an urgent hunt for the next woman who has been taken, only worry is, this involves Dr Lecter himself, a man who has the strictest protection of him banned from the rest of the world, but in comes Clarice whispering of hope and a view in return for information…
There is so much in this film that creates the tension and suspense you feel for the whole two hours. One of the most important things is the camera work, this is something so unique yet worked brilliantly. There are so many close ups on faces, the audience is added to the intensity by looking into their eyes, into Hannibal Lecter’s eyes, yet you cannot read what he is thinking, just listen to the specific questions he is asking of Clarice’s life. Anthony Hopkins plays the dangerous Dr Lecter amazingly well, he is the standing star of the show in my opinion. The weirdest thing, for a brief moment in the film, I felt sorry for him, now that’s got to be some dedicated acting to make an audience feel that! This feeling is quickly diminished when he bites someone’s tongue out, but still there was a moment. The editing of the film also create tension, the way that they do this, is that the audience knows more than those on screen. We know the killer, we see him and what he is doing, this split story effect in the narrative is brilliant in creating more tension for the characters we want to win. Although, saying this, we don’t know everything, and we surely don’t know what will happen. The whole feel of the film echoes urgency and stress, there is the unreliable source of Hannibal Lecter, the importance of saving the woman taken by Buffalo Bill, and the damaging past of Clarice, desperate to solve this case.
‘The Silence of the Lambs’ is a brilliant film. It is definitely one to watch, there were moments that I was extremely tense, hiding behind my hands covering my face. I was definitely freaking out at one point to be honest. It is imaginatively created to push the tensions to the max, and to be honest I would watch it again. I definitely recommend if you haven’t seen this film, if you’re in for a great thriller!