| The Silence of the Lambs (1991) |
It has been 16 years and this is a movie that is still very much talked about and is considered a major breakthrough in dramatic thriller films. The film won all 5 major academy awards which is not surprising given the fantastic directing by Jonathan Demme and the second to none display or interplay between Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, both of whom won oscars for their acting.
In a nutshell, a naive, young, student police officer called Clarice Starling [Foster] is given the task of interviewing the brilliant, cunning, psychotic Dr. Hannibal 'Cannibal' Lecter [Hopkins] who is locked up in a maximum security hospital/prison to get information about a serial killer on the loose known only as Buffalo Bill who likes to 'skin his humps.'
There is little doubt that Anthony Hopkins displays a turning point in the world of acting, creating the greatest villain of all time and an inconic one despite being in the film for only 17 minutes and generating an atmosphere that would surely have failed under the directing of someone else and was chosen over Robert De Niro who rejected the role as it was too creepy. There is little in the way of violence though when there is it is truly shocking and will blow you away. This is quite easily the greatest dramatic thriller ever made.
I wish I could give it 5 stars but I really can't because for all its greatness, this film is extremely anti-male. This film was acknowledged in the special features section of the DVD set, as a feminist-film. This is clear instantly as the main female police Officer Starling is dwarfed by the great many male collegues. There are many scenes where their resentment of her is apparant and pretty blatant.
Also all the psychopaths are male and absolute monsters which I feel seems to be designed to demonise the male gender as a whole. I don't want to spoil the film too much for you, but I have to mention the madman in the prison who flings semen at Starling and of course the cat and mouse relationship between her and Lecter, who in this film appears to have no motive [the new film Hannibal Rising actually shows he was made into what he is but there is no hints in this film].
His humanity is shown, however, and that is what makes him all the more horrifying.
I see quite clearly what is going on here. Nearly all the male characters in the film are portayed in a negative light save a couple. The worst of all however is the main villain, the women killing serial killer who thinks hes a transexual, Buffalo Bill.
The film repulses the viewer with pictures of skinned women more than anything despite the fact that nearly 100 percent of all the violence in the film is directed towards men, most notably two unfortunate male police officers.
Finally what I also noticed that is very subtle is the central butterfly idea [moth pupua found in the head os a decapitated man and in the throats of the female victims]. The caterpiller going into a pupua state and then turning into a beautiful moth can be used as an allegory - man goes into pupua [transexual] and into a woman. Thats my take on it anyway.
This is an amazing movie but it has a very clear anti-male message so you'll have to take that into consideration before seeing this film, as well as the extremely tense violence shown at some points
-Reviewed by: Mr. Doesn'tGiveaDamn
Rated: R in USA, 18 in UK, R in Canada due to violence, violent and hateful themes.
Duration: 1 hour & 58 minutes