Genre: Thriller, Drama
Runtime: 118 Minutes
There has been a big build up towards my viewing of this, weeks have I waited to watch it. What did I think of it? A thrilling classic is what it is! With some of the finest performances of Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins ever, “The Silence of the Lambs” is an excellent film no doubt. The script was superb, the direction from Jonathan Demme was golden and the film as a whole is exciting. Hopkins was a true as star as Hannibal Lecter and his escape is immensely impressive. This film will at times have you sitting completely still waiting to see what happens next and have your eyes wide open in surprise; a very exciting film indeed!
Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI's training academy whose shrewd analysis of serial killers lands her a special assignment: the FBI is investigating a vicious murderer nicknamed Buffalo Bill, who kills young women and then removes the skin from their bodies. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants Clarice to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant psychiatrist who is also a violent psychopath, serving life behind bars for various acts of murder and cannibalism. The film mingles the horrors of criminal acts with the psychological horrors of Lecter's slow-motion interrogation of Clarice and of her memories that emerge from it.
The first thing I want to talk on is the acting. Just wow. Is Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the biggest thing to happen to psycho fiction since Norman Bates? Most likely, Anthony Hopkins performance was overwhelmingly brilliant. I am sure many have said this before me but his performance has you sitting still. Hannibal Lector, the psychotically mental doctor whose mind is very great, but his sense of moral is very much twisted. The way he was so insightful to people was amazing and every time Lector was on screen, I was completely still, waiting to see what he does.
Of course, Hopkins may be the juiciest from the film, but Jodie Foster was too zestful. Playing the FBI agent who is on a mission to catch Buffalo Bill she did a great job. Flat as it may sound, but he was amazing. The way she moved, the way she talked, all those little things made her character. Alongside our two main characters is Ted Divine as Buffalo Bill (or Jame Gumm, his real name). Bill is a corrupt and dysfunctional man who is also a transvestite. What makes this person so horrible is how he is using women’s skin to build himself a ‘skin’ costume. A cynical and sick idea surely, and that is the quality it gives the villain.
Jame Gumm whose voice is comically timbre, in one scene explodes at Catherine, who he has trapped in a well, saying, "Put the fucking lotion in the baaasket". This makes the scene funnier than it is supposed to be -you are supposed to be seeing that even this monster is touched for a moment by the pain of a human being he has carefully programmed himself to think of as “it”. The film is based on a book of the same name so this is another one of the many great book-to-film adaptions. The story is firm and thanks to Demme’s great direction, the film has an excellent polish to it.
One thing I found funny was how this film was released on Valentine’s Day. What a perfect day to go see a psycho-thriller movie, just a thought. The film’s first moments are a build up to the catching of Buffalo Bill and what excitement it sure is. The ending closes wonderfully as we see Lecter walking into the distance in a foreign country, and at that point, you know he is likely not to be found. It presses for a sequel and well, look what happened. Now there are three, but they have received some savage reviews. Only one of these sequels features Hopkins as Lecter, being the next one, so it is clear he is no dummy. This is one of the best psycho-thriller films around and if you have seen it, you can see why. Overall, I think this film is wonderfully thrilling, suspenseful and some darn good cine-magic!
My Rating: 9/10