Silence of the Lambs

FBI trainee Clarice Starling ventures into a maximum-security asylum to pick the diseased brain of Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist turned cannibal.

Year: 1991
Certificate: 15
Director: Jonathan Demme
Starring: Jodie FosterAnthony HopkinsScott GlennTed LevineAnthony HealdBrooke SmithDiane BakerKasi LemmonsFrankie FaisonTracey WalterCharles Napier

Information Page:

F.B.I. trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) works hard to advance her career while trying to hide her West Virginia roots. After graduation, she aspires to work in the agency’s Behavioural Science Unit under the leadership of Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn). While she is still a trainee, Crawford asks her to question Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Sir Anthony Hopkins), a psychiatrist imprisoned, for eight years in maximum security isolation for being a serial killer who cannibalised his victims. Clarice is able to figure out the assignment is to pick Lecter’s brains to help them solve another serial murder case, that of someone coined by the media as “Buffalo Bill” (Ted Levine). Buffalo Bill has so far killed five young women, who are slightly overweight, and were drowned in natural bodies of water, and were stripped of large swaths of skin. She also figures that Crawford chose her, as a woman, to be able to trigger some emotional response from Lecter. After speaking to Lecter for the first time, she realises that everything with him will be a psychological game, with her often having to read between the very cryptic lines he provides. She has to decide how much she will play along, as his request in return for talking to him is to expose herself emotionally to him.

The Silence of the Lambs is about 2 hours long, and Anthony Hopkins appears for little more than sixteen minutes, yet during those minutes he doesn’t bore you for a second. Such is the power of his performance, it’s absolutely impossible to forget him.His character, Dr.Hannibal”The Cannibal” Lecter, is a brutal killer with revolting methods and habits, but he’s also very intelligent, and charismatic.  He is one of the key elements in this wonderful thriller, which sees Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling asking for Lecter’s help to catch another killer. The result is a dangerous yet fascinating relationship between the young, unexperienced FBI-agent and the convicted, psychiatrist. He’s a step ahead of everyone all the time, and makes sure everyone notices, with his witty, unforgettable one-liners. If there had to be only one reason to watch this movie, then it would have to be the chemistry between the two leading actors, there are not many films where a non-sexual male/female connection has been more thrilling.

I can see why Silence of the Lambs is considered a classic, it had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish, and the acting is flawless. The cinematography is also brilliant with a variety of effective techniques employed by director Jonathan Demme such as extreme close-ups of Dr. Lector to illuminate the madness in his eyes and the unsettling rhythm of his breathing. The film does have its gory moments, which is fine considering that it deals heavily with serial killers and cannibals so it is nothing that exceeds expectations. But it’s the performances that make this film simply incredible. Hopkins is extraordinarily creepy as Hannibal Lector where as Jodie Foster portrays such vulnerable courage, such fear and determination. Both were well deserved of their Oscars as was the film and Jonathan Demme for his Best Director Award.

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

About Tammy

A parent blogger and mom to 3 adorable children, who likes watching documentaries and dramas.

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