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Film Review: Silence of the Lambs (1991)


It is surprisingly rare for a psychological thriller to be well reviewed and praised by the Academy of Arts and Sciences. Director Jonathan Demme’s 1991 crime drama was not only exquisite on its own but is also one of the earliest of its kind.

Based on the book written by Thomas Harris, Silence of the Lambs is a fascinating duo performance by Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster playing two of the most significant roles in their career. This curious tale is coated with crime fighting, postmortem studies and forensic entomology. Clarice Starling (Foster) is a trainee FBI agent appointed to solve a disturbing case of the murderer ‘Buffalo Bill’. 

This directs Clarice to meet a former criminal, now behind bars, to obtain information. Playing Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins), a cannibalistic psychopath with a knack of feeding on other’s personal secrets, Hopkins has no trouble in imparting a brilliant quality to his role and he seems to be very comfortable with it. His very calm but stern demeanour coupled with a crisp voice made a movie to be remembered.

With her portrayal of Clarice, Forster’s worried but charming face radiates the light from the darker-toned movie.

The plot unravels slowly as the events of the murder case follow with quick succession. Howard Shore’s compilation of music drifts past from time to time and mixes with the elements of the story to generate suspense.

Silence of the Lambs is well acted with a lot of action and surprises. If you’re not afraid of witnessing the unexpected, then it is definitely one to watch.

Written by Sampath Wijesinghe

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