This file was generated 2002-06-09 04:23 GMT. This movie's information hasn't changed since 2002-02-23.
Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> November 2001 >> The Silence of the Lambs
Silence of the Lambs is a triumph of dramatic tension, character development, and just plain spookiness. The characters are intelligent, allowing them to sidestep the cliches normally associated with their roles. There is also a great deal of murkiness in the good/evil delineation that makes them substantially more interesting than the carboard figures that would be expected in a lesser film. All of the characters are played by very capable actors who deliver performances consistently on par with the writing. The movie is also adept at staying just ahead of the audience without feeling like a cheat when the truth is revealed. The entire film is also shot with a surprisingly drab tone that removes any trace of glamour from the proceedings. That lack of unrealistically beautiful imagery give the movie an extra dose of believability. This is far and away some of the best white-knuckle filmmaking I've ever seen.
Far and away, the most amazing performance in Silence belongs to Anthony Hopkins. Despite being off the screen for most of the movie, Hopkins manages to cram enough menace into each of his appearances that his aura is felt throughout. He comes across as a genius for whom the rest of the human race is nothing but a toy collection. It's one thing for the screenplay to have a character be uncannily able to turn things to his favor, but it's entirely another to have the actor convince the audience that he really is that smart. Hopkins handles it with ease. The cornerstone of his creepiness is that his greatest weapons are not diminished at all just because he's wrapped head-to-toe in shackles or trapped behind a wall of plexiglass.