October 24, 2018 Silencio (Movie Review)
Life is linear. Birth. Years of life and then death. What if that was not entirely true? What if there are places on the earth that can create paths to different realities? The Zone of Silence in Mexico is compared to the Bermuda Triangle since it attracts an alarming number of crashes due to its unexplainable magnetic field. What if something inside of this zone can change the course of a person’s life? Tapping into those very thoughts, Director/Writer Lorena Villarreal brings audiences her Sci-Fi Thriller Silencio set for release in US theaters on Friday, October 26, 2018.
In both Spanish and English, the story begins in 1970 with a US test rocket crashed into Mexico in an area known as the Zone of Silence. James (John Noble: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 2002, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 2003) is a scientist who is studying the crash site. Just the previous week James lost his two grandchildren and their parents in a freak car accident in the area. His mind was not completely clear, and he accidentally held a piece of the wreckage – a cobalt stone in his bare hands. He and his partner Peter (Rupert Graves: V for Vendetta 2005, Sherlock 2017) were suddenly thrown into an alternate reality right at the moment before the accident. Somehow this time Peter was able to save his granddaughter Ana from her fate.
Fast forward several years and Ana (Meina Matthews: Mama 2013, The Chessplayer 2017) is an adult with her own child, Felix (Ian Garcia Monterrubio: The Beauty and the Beasts 2018, El deseo de Ana 2019). Ana is a shrink and one of her patients, Daniel (Michel Chauvet: Archivo 253 2015, La Querida Del Centauro 2017), who as a child also touched the stone, sees dead people. He claims to be seeing her sister, Lisa (Luzy Paez: Big Whiskey 2016). Ana is understandably upset, but she cannot talk to her grandfather about Daniel because James has fallen into some sort of comatose dementia. His present state complicates matters even further as he is the only one who knows the location of the stone and there are people who are desperate to get their hands on it.
Thereafter, a kidnapper (Hoze Meléndez: Almacenados 2015, I Dream in Another Language 2017) emerges and takes Felix for collateral in exchange for the missing stone. Now Ana, with Daniel’s help, must find the very stone that has altered the path of their lives. Will she be able to find the stone in time to save her son? Why is someone so desperate to get a hold of the relic anyway? What will they do once they have the powerful object? Has Ana’s new life finally met its expiration date?
It would be difficult to find a person in this world who did not wish they had a way to change their lives and possibly bring back a lost loved one. It would cut down on the pain and misery missing those that have already left this world. What Silencio does well is to show that yes, it is amazing to alter a person’s fate, but there will eventually be consequences that might be too great to make it worth it. Are humans really ready to have something so powerful in their possession that they can literally control the fate of another’s life or death?
Noble is brilliant in his portrayal of a gifted scientist who holds the world on his shoulders. The moments his character is lucid he is the epitome of the grandfather most wish they could have. He is loving and encouraging. Never once does he tell Ana what actually happened and that he somehow took her back from a certain death. He allows her to live and thrive without feeling the guilt of being the sole survivor of her immediate family. His great burden is his alone.
All that said, Noble portrays James as a strong, kind man who only wants the best not only for his family but for the world. The viewer cannot fault him for any of his actions. The love he clearly possesses for Ana allows the viewer to root for her survival and ultimate success.
There are few things that can test the strength of a person. As an adult suddenly knowing that you were supposed to be dead is something that could crush a person and leave them unable to cope or proceed in life. Matthew’s Ana is the opposite of this. Because of the upbringing by her grandfather, she is already an extremely strong woman. She grew up with love and understanding of some things that just cannot be explained. The viewer can see the struggle on Matthew’s Ana’s face when she realizes the truth but is able to quickly push it aside and find her strength in order to get her son back. Just like Noble’s James, Matthew’s Ana is the type of character that most would aspire to be. Intelligent, strong, caring and willing to do whatever it takes in order to keep her family safe and whole.
Life is all about choices. Sometimes these choices happen without knowing what the ultimate price will be. James could not have known by touching the stone the rest of his life would be haunted by the universe trying to balance back that one act. Silencio is successful in showing what could happen if it were possible to get back a loved one, but it also warns that sometimes there is a price higher that must be paid by this choice.
Overall, it is a very deep and introspective film that allows the viewer to wonder what choice would be made if faced with the same decisions. It is for these reasons that CrypticRock gives Silencio 4 out of 5 stars.