Silence of the Lambs

Good Morning Clarice

Here’s a masterpiece, a pure example of sublime acting. The intensity and power with which the character is delivered to the audience speaks volumes of the actors’ and director’s command of the art. Sir Anthony Hopkins leaves you spellbound and stuck in time with his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter, the cannibalistic killer. The eyes speak of the macabre picture that they paint of the man in sight. A chill runs through your spine at the first sight of Hannibal Lecter, wearing a blue jail suit, hair back brushed and well oiled, and that evil smile. The diction is so pure and impeccable, its almost frightening to hear that perfect delivery of dialogues. The slow and clear pronunciation of each and every word with just the necessary pause for your thought to work on it. The mind of a serial killer, psychopath and how he is so meticulous and perspicacious about everything around. How like a typical psycopath he’s so calm and composed after killing the 2 guards, and even more, listens to the opera.

It is observed that serial killers have a higher IQ than a normal man. Their powers of observation are a degree or two greater than you and me. They observe and remember things better, and involuntarily. And the character here displays that characteristic with finesse when in the introduction scene of Hannibal Lecter, he identifies the perfume Clarice uses through the faint scent he smells. How through the course of the movie he moves with Clarice on all the points that she as a student would touch, and always is spot on at every occasion, be it the facts, crimes, humor, sarcasm anything.

Jodie Foster on the other hand paints a beautiful picture of a student at the FBI academy, typically nervous and yet trying hard not to show it. Its fun to see the two, Clarice and Hannibal have a conversation of wits, how each tries to evade the other’s questions and tries to extract details from the other with their expertise.

Ted Levine also superbly handles the role of a serial killer. The scene where he lowers the bucket into the well and asks the girl to put the cream, and he cries along with the girl is amazing. To act like a psycho is one of the more challenging roles for an actor. The insanity has to show, the mental degradation needs to be visible through the evil laughs and the selfish smiles.

Its also nice to see how a relationship builds between Clarice and Hannibal through the movie, almost of a semblance of the relationship between a student and a teacher. He urges her to think and decode the mystery, and to get there instead of giving it all away to her free of cost. He urges her to earn it.

The last par of the movie where Clarice finds the kidnapped girl and moves through the maze of a house with the gun is beautifully captured. You feel and live the thrill of the course of events through the movie, its a journey thats ghastly, gory and yet has a certain clarity about it. The motive is the crux of the movie throughout, and the director never lets you lose grip of that.

All in all i’ll just echo the words i started this review with “A Masterpiece”. A must see for people who love serious stuff and are not weak hearted, love murders (well on paper) and love Sir Anthony Hopkins. And through the movie you’ll eventually end up loving Jodie Foster too.


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