Silenced (2011)

Watched “Silenced” here on DVD with English subtitles. Didn’t really know what to expect from the film before going in, but came out shaken, angered and left with the feeling of having seen a powerful film that can bring about positive change. The basis for the movie is purported to be based on a true story which makes things all the more striking. Having not watched “Children…” a Korean movie that came out earlier this year also based on a true story, my closest point of reference is Bong Joon-Ho’s by now classic film “Memories of Murder”. “Silenced” doesn’t possess the master of cinema feel that “Memories of Murder” has, nor does it have the first mover advantage in its story, but “Silenced” is able to deliver the same (if not more) type of jolt to the viewer which is really saying something.

Some criticism I had for the film were 2 scenes felt just too graphic and a few other times the movie seemed to carry a far too simpleton feel, but in hindsight I’m guessing both of these points originated from the filmmaker’s desire to have maximum impact with the largest group possible. In that case, the filmmaker got his wish. While walking out of the theater I did feel energized from having watched something so moving and also filled with fear & anger at just how wicked some parts of society can become.

Performance wise, I thought Gong Yoo was good and Jung Yu-Mi was her usual great self. There was a final scene with Gong Yoo holding a bible in the middle of the street that didn’t move me as much as I thought the scene wanted. Maybe I was just too exhausted from having witnessed humanity at its darkest hour prior to that. The movie also featured large amounts of court-room drama in the second half which I really enjoyed.

“Silenced” has already brought in a lot of people into the theaters in South Korea and also opened a lot of eyes to the injustices that occurred in South Korea just a few years ago (2005). I think “Silenced” is a film that will likely leave you in a state that only a few others films probably can. Be prepare to be moved when you watch it.

 

Review by j-lebbing3-1

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