Monday, February 24, 2014
691. De stilte rond Christine M./A Question of Silence (1982)
Running Time: 92 minutes
Directed By: Marleen Gorris
Written By: Marleen Gorris
Main Cast: Edda Barends, Nelly Frijda, Henriette Tol, Cox Habbema, Eddie Brugman
MEN ARE SCUM?
Thank you to the few who tracked me down in iCheckmovies - hopefully we can spy on what each other watched and have fun doing so. I took in "A Question of Silence" last night (which you would've known if you were following me on iCheckmovies.com), but needed an extra day to think about what I thought of it. All in all, it was okay I guess.
The film is a feminism piece and much like when I watched "Do the Right Thing", I got the feeling that I wasn't invited to this party. The film begins with three women being arrested. The women are strangers to each other and one by one, the police go to either their workplace or their home, draw their handcuffs and place the ladies under arrest. We soon learn that the three women were involved in a murder. The murder took place in a local boutique, when the shop owner (a man) catches one of the women, Christine (Barends) shoplifting. He tries to stop her, but is then confronted by the other two women, Annie (Frijda) and Andrea (Tol) and the three proceed in punching and kicking him, even going so far as to violently butcher his penis with a broken coat hanger. We see all of this in three flashback scenes and never actually see the murder, only hear it. The main story revolves around psychiatrist Janine van den Bos (Habbema), who is assigned to determine whether the women are sane or not. Along the way, Janine forms her own opinions of the women and her husband, a lawyer (Brugman), writes all three of them off as insane.
That's the long and short of it, kiddies. The movie is fine, lingering somewhere in the average rating range. There weren't any particularly bad elements, nor were there any particularly good ones. The film mixes courtroom drama, psychological character study and feminist propaganda together nicely (not that I'd really know anything about a feminist piece) and works fairly well. The acting is solid from all involved and I especially liked Henriette Tol, who managed to mix scary and sexy seamlessly. How about that scene where she's picked up by a guy mistaking her for a prostitute and she has the most cold sex with him I've ever seen portrayed on film. Brilliant and creepy. Honestly though, the film doesn't really go that far. The whole thing revolves around one character's perception of the whole thing and it's a lot of dialogue and not particularly riveting dialogue either. I will laud the score though, which added something to the whole mix and the technique of showing us the crime in flashbacks and actually never SHOWING us the crime. That only made our imaginations run a little more wild, which always works better than anything that could be shown.
I was convinced that the psychiatrist would kill her own husband at the end of the film, but Gorris went for the "everybody laughs hysterically" ending. I'm not sure I really got that, nor am I sure I was supposed to. It wasn't a particularly good ending, was it? And what was with those other four or five women, the ones who were in the boutique, but never did anything? It was as if there was some sort of female cult that we were never told about and they all belonged to it....
Anyway, it is what it is. It's worth a look, just don't go expecting too much and you may come out loving it, as there are elements to love. You also may come out disliking, as there's plenty to get frustrated over too. However, you may be like me and feel very indifferent toward the film, because it is a tough nut to crack.
RATING: 6/10 Not bad, not bad at all. Just a tough one to get a good reading on and another viewing, sometime down the line could be in order.
MOVIES WATCHED: 808
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 193
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