Review The Great Silence – Review on FilmTotaal

Director: Kristine Brocks| Script: Katrine Brocks and Marianne Lentz | Cast: Kristine Kujath Thorp (Alma), Elliott Crosset Hove (Erik), Karen-Lise Mynster (Moeder Miriam), ea | Time to play: 95 minutes | Year: 2022

A woman in the prime of her life retires in the shadow of a convent. Her pity seems sincere, but that doesn’t mean the ghosts of the past leave her alone. the great silence He quickly makes it clear that Alma is carrying a load, but it takes a long time for him to dramatically get to the point.

“Take care of him, but keep him away,” Alma murmurs during the film’s opening sentence. The words are heartfelt and she, however, already feels that her half-brother Erik can knock on the door of the monastery at any moment. Her inevitable arrival creates an untenable situation. Erik’s accusations against his half-sister aren’t easy, the cesspool of the past opens up, and Alma’s upcoming initiation ceremony is suddenly under open discussion.

In movie history, monasteries are often places where the main characters struggle with fear and doubt. In classic dramas like The story of the nun in the nun Audrey Hepburn and Anna Karina question their faith, and Ingmar Bergman met The silence (in Dutch The silence either the great silencenamesake) is his most forceful and at the same time disguised film about the silence of God. the great silence thus fits into a long tradition of films (‘nuns’) about the existential tension between freedom and prison.

Well, it is needed in the case of the great silence quite a while before that existential tension is convincingly expressed. The film is constructed in such a way that the exact background of Alma’s accession is only revealed in the act of swallowing. The latter is understandable and logical from a dramatic point of view, but it ensures that the two main characters lack a bit of depth during the long lead up.

In the weaker midsection especially, too much drama is hung on the (initially) superficially developed conflict with Erik. Much attention is paid to his morbid, anti-religious rants, which defy monastery etiquette and leave Alma with a sense of vicarious shame. In the end, these rants turn out to be, at best, a prelude to the actual trauma, which shines through in somewhat forced and nightmarish fashion in the run-up to the drink.

At certain moments, debuting director Katrine Brocks uses the physical space of the monastery as a kind of mirror in which Alma recognizes her demons. A bleak nocturnal reflection of the atmospherically lit courtyard goes hand-in-hand with events that must be interpreted metaphorically: the roof is leaking and needs to be replaced, a demented convent resident seems to have a sixth sense, and at one point blood even seems to seep through the wallpaper (think Darren Aronofsky). Mother!).

The interactions between the skittish Erik and the insane convent resident (a woman cared for by the nuns) are especially off-kilter, even exploitative, because the woman’s serious diagnosis is used solely to portray her as a confused fortune teller. The character is very reminiscent of Lars von Triers’ clairvoyant woman. Kingdom. Also in that miniseries, the central place (there the hospital) is a playground of the subconscious, with the main difference that the great silence otherwise it remains a conventional art drama.

The addition of light horror elements is a valiant attempt to give the drama a modest genre twist, but it actually throws the film off balance even more. The empathetic final act convincingly expresses what Alma was looking for all along, and thus strikes a chord for the first time. So it’s a shame that the writers (Brocks in collaboration with Marianne Lentz, who also worked on the recently released the silent migration) have not been able to work the defining themes (guilt, trauma and forgiveness) more sharply into the structure of the story.

It is mainly due to the lead actress Kristine Kujath Thorp who the great silence despite the faulty script it does not drop below the lower bound. Who else sick of myself (in the cinema last spring), you have to change gears: this is a completely different role for the actress who is (for the moment) making considerable progress through Scandinavian film productions. The wider program ‘Nordic Watching’ from distributor September Film (launched June 29, see also the aforementioned the silent migration offers hope that we can look forward to plenty of mature talent like Thorp in years to come.

Varsha Rai

Hi, Varsha here. I am a very passionate writer with a knack for the art of words and I hope to share my stories and information in a way that is meaningful and inspiring. At, I write mostly on latest and upcoming movies, movie reviews and everything related to movies. Catch up with me on - [email protected]
Back to top button