Young FBI agent Clarice Starling is assigned to help find a missing woman to save her from a psychopathic serial killer who skins his victims. Clarice attempts to gain a better insight into the twisted mind of the killer by talking to another psychopath Hannibal Lecter, who used to be a respected psychiatrist. FBI agent Jack Crawford believes that Lecter, who is also a very powerful and clever mind manipulator, has the answers to their questions and can help locate the killer. However, Clarice must first gain Lecter's confidence before the inmate will give away any information. Written by Sami Al-Taher
February 14, 1991
I cannot honestly remember when I first watched Silence of the Lambs.
With the movie and dialogue are so vividly etched in my collective celluloid conscience. I knew the lines before I even saw the movie, thanks to the reference Jim Carrey makes to it in Dumb and Dumber (1994). “With some Fava Beans and a nice bottle of Chianti, thfp, thfp, thfp, thfp!” That is how great movies operate, they become part of the public’s collective conscious weather you have or haven’t seen it, love it or hate it.
If you are looking for a classic thriller for this Halloween season and have not seen it, what are you waiting for? This is a thriller that does not evoke evil spirits from the supernatural realm. This film based on the book by Thomas Harris references real events and horrors that have actually played out. A twisted and macabre world that only real human oddities can conjure up. Rest assure there is no real Hannibal Lecter. Yet, rest uneasy knowing that Hannibal the Cannibal and Buffalo Bill area a collection of several real life serial killers. Watching Silence of the Lambs is like thumbing through old crime scene books. With just a dash of 1970’s and 80’s B movie slasher film. Director Jonathan Demme is no stranger to B movies, having learned under Roger Conman. The king of the B movie and also the producer of Lambs. He makes a Cameo as the head of the FBI. The grainy, dark sinister feel of Texas Chain Saw Massacre is present just below the surface. A story also based on horrific atrocities created by the real life serial killer Ed Gein.
I think what sets this film apart is its protagonist, Agent Clarisse Starling. Played brilliantly by Jodi Foster who took home the Oscar that year. Her strength and vulnerability as a female FBI agent adds a very honest sense of realism to her character along with the audience’s perspective. Anthony Hopkins role as Lecter is another transcendent performance. Bringing Hannibal Lecter to the top of the movie villain charts next to Vader and Jaws. He reprised the role for 3 other sequels. Having watched the other mediocre film incarnations of Thomas Harris’s stories I think Jodi Foster was right to not come back. There is some movie magic you just can’t recreate.
No question why Silence of the Lambs swept all the major categories in the Oscar that year. That’s a phenomenal feat for a film that was released in February, most movies lobbying for an Oscar are released in December.
So if they had to make a reboot starting from scratch today; I would have to have David Fincher do the directing. And the good way, all dark and Se7en (1995) like sinister with Trent Reznor doing the score. Lecter has to remain an English or European actor, something about how intelligent that accent sounds makes it that much more frightening; so either Michael Fassbender or Liam Neesen. The role of Clarice Starling Rooney Maura or her sister Kate. I could even tolerate Jennifer Laurence in the role. Buffalo Bill is hard to cast. It’s hard to recreate Ted Levine’s look and voice.Re-watch the movie and listen to how much he sounds like a creepy Kermit the Frog with a bit of a speech impediment. For an interesting spin, Will Poulder from We’re the Millers (2013). Funny, sure he is now, but I have a feeling that kid can play disturbed if he wants to.