Classics: The Silence of the Lambs (1991) A Review

Crime Dramas do not come much more classic then this one, or more chilling.  Our initial introduction to Anthony Hopkins Hannibal Lecter, and what an introduction it is.

Certificate: 18

Director: Jonathan Demme

Screenwriter: Thomas Harris (novel), Ted Tally (screenplay)

Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney

Genre: Crime, Drama

Runtime: 118 Minutes

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

Hannibal Lecter is one of the most famous of the Film and TV Villains, and even after all these years, and all these times I have watched this film, that first interaction between Clarice and Dr Lecter is still one of the most unsettling and chilling scenes in cinema and I love it.

On the hunt for serial killer Buffalo Bill, a madman who kills and skins his victims, FBI Cadet Clarice Starling is sent to enlist the help of convicted murderer and psychopath Hannibal Lecter.  A praised and genius psychiatrist, Lecter offers to take a look at the case file, in exchange for Starling securing him a transfer out of the prison that he is currently in, for one with more relaxed rules.

This is Anthony Hopkins at his absolute best.  Worthy of a standing ovation and apparently an Oscar for Best Actor, Hannibal Lecter will always be one of his most memorable roles and for good reason.  He oozes both menace and charm in equal amounts and although he is meant to be one of the greatest villains of all time, you want to know more about him, and see him on screen more.  Jodie Foster also gained herself an Oscar for her performance as FBI rookie Clarice Starling.  Both innocent and tenacious, you feel every inch of her horror as her world starts to spin out of control.  This role really put her on the map and as with her co star, is one of the roles she will always be remembered for.

This is a very slow burn film.  It is as much about the psychological warfare between Clarice and Dr Lecter as it is about the hunt for the Serial Killer Buffalo Bill.  Whilst these scenes aren’t the most dramatic, they are the most chilling to watch as Lecter gets well and truly under her skin.  The drama is saved for the scenes with Buffalo Bill.  Dark, Twisted and graphic, there is no disguising just how violent the inner thoughts of this mad man are.  Ted Levine, though on screen for a relatively short space of time, leaves a grim impression as Jame Gumb, or Buffalo Bill. 

Any lover of Crime or even psychological horror, should see this film at least once if they haven’t already.  But lets face it, it’s a classic for a reason, and we have probably all already seen it.

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