The Silence (2010, Baran bo Odar)

There’s always something to be said for a new approach to a standard genre. The Silence is a murder mystery, kind of a cold case one, kind of not, kind of serial killer, kind of not. Director bo Odar tries really hard in the end to give the film a singular ending and he fails. Once the third act is underway, it all of a sudden becomes entirely predictable.

All of these predictable events are entirely realistic and digestible… they just aren’t necessarily for the film to succeed. The film is almost entirely amazing for the first ninety minutes, stumbles a bit–but on to steady ground–then bo Odar just keeps going and going until he’s exhausted it. The weary cast members all get a montage at the end. It makes sense, but doesn’t work.

The film doesn’t have a central protagonist. Sebastian Blomberg plays a crack detective who is a recent widower and no one thinks he’s up to the task of solving a resurfaced serial killer. Except his now retired boss (Burghart Klaußner) and erstwhile partner (Jule Böwe). Poor Böwe gets bo Odar’s greatest disservice in some odd misogyny–the only female cop, it turns out she’s only good for supportive hugs.

Good performances from Wotan Wilke Möhring and Claudia Michelsen too. Everyone’s good, it’s just bo Odar shows his hand too much to make The Silence seem different. Then it’s not.

Wonderful photography from Nikolaus Summerer.

bo Odar’s an excellent director. He just tries too hard.

1.5/4★½

CREDITS

Directed by Baran bo Odar; screenplay by bo Odar, based on the novel by Jan Costin Wagner; director of photography, Nikolaus Summerer; edited by Robert Rzesacz; music by Michael Kamm and Kris Steininger; production designers, Christian M. Goldbeck and Yesim Zolan; produced by Frank Evers, Jantje Friese, Maren Lüthje, Florian Schneider and Jörg Schulze; released by NFP Marketing & Distribution.

Starring Sebastian Blomberg (David Jahn), Burghart Klaußner (Krischan Mittich), Jule Böwe (Jana Gläser), Oliver Stokowski (Matthias Grimmer), Wotan Wilke Möhring (Timo Friedrich), Claudia Michelsen (Julia Friedrich), Karoline Eichhorn (Ruth Weghamm), Roeland Wiesnekker (Karl Weghamm), Katrin Saß (Elena Lange) and Ulrich Thomsen (Peer Sommer).


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