Silence Becomes You

Film review by Thomas M. Sipos




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Silence Becomes You (2005, dir: Stephanie Sinclaire; cast: Alicia Silverstone, Sienna Guillory, Joe Anderson, Leigh Lawson, Vaida Butyte, Jessica Suffield, Elizabeth Pliuchkina)





I wanted to like this film. I was rooting for it. I love artsy sepia-toned horror films like Lost Souls and The Ring and Gothika -- but Silence Becomes You is none of that.

It's not a horror film. It's hard to say what it is. I kept waiting for something to gel; a story, a theme, a point ... something. But nothing!

The events (it's hard to call this a story) concern two young women living alone in a mansion. Their father was an alchemist. They allude to a "plan," which seems to involve finding a young man to mate with, so they can have a baby.

Well, one of the sisters picks up this drifter in a bar and takes him home. Then ... nothing much. Lots of talk, and flashbacks, and superimposed images. I mean lots of superimposed images, all throughout the film. But to no clear purpose.

We see images of the young women as children, superimposed all over the place. At one point, the man is asleep. Then he's woken by one of the women who is in the form of a child. But it means nothing.

Is it a dream? A flashback? An imagining? Alchemical magic? Does it occur in the future? The past? Another dimension?

"Who is beside you?"
the man asks without moving his lips.

"No one is beside me,"
the child answers.

"You're just a child,"
the man says.

"I am eternally a child,"
the child replies.

Uhm, okay.

These images (of the women, their parents, the young man) are constantly superimposed onto events, along with unrelated sounds and voices. Lots of magical-poetic gibberish, with no clear rhyme or reason.

The film seems to borrow a bit from D.H. Lawrence's The Fox in that these two women become jealous over the man.

All in all, a confusing mish-mash. Beautiful sets, photography, sepia colors, but so boring as it's all for naught. Just gibberish, and superimposed images, and wanderings in the snow, and sheer nothing.

Yes, there's an ending. Or rather, the film ends. Don't ask me to explain it. There's a fire. Or was there? It seemed a big fire, but then the house seems unaffected. The man seems to have died, but later we see him superimposed beside one of the women. One seems to have lost her baby in childbirth (or did she?) while the other woman is pregnant. Was it all a dream? A magical alter-reality? Who knows!


I'm sure some people will be bowled over with stupefied admiration, but I like a story to go with all that pretty photography.

An artsy-fartsy, none-horror, sorta Jane Austin type Gothic suspense thriller (the women watch an Austin movie on TV), but really, what is it?


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