MESSAGE IN THE MOVIES
Directed by John Krasinski. Starring Emily Blunt, John Krasinski.
There’s no doubt about it – our world is oversaturated with sound for most persons. If you happen to be deaf, it is another world altogether. You will be able to feel vibrations and read lips and communicate with sign language; if you are with a community of other people who share your world, life continues with much beauty, even though it is a silent world.
A Quiet Place is a compelling film for many reasons, for it sets up an intriguing premise in its first few minutes. It imagines a time in which our planet has been devastated by invaders from another world and that these monsters hunt their prey primarily by listening for sounds. The Abbott family have managed to find a place of shelter in the country and have stayed alive due to their ability to remain very, very quiet. Regan (Millicent Simmonds), the oldest child, is deaf; the family has learned ASL already to communicate with each other. You play Monopoly with soft pieces and walk on sand to curb the sound. But the creatures still walk around in your neighborhood. It may only be a matter of time before they discover you.
Lee (Krasinski), the father, continues to investigate the world outside, but things appear to be bleak. The entire family continues to mourn the loss of a child. And Evelyn (Blunt), the mother, is about to give birth; that will be a hard thing to keep silent.
Because silence is golden, the audience is forced to be quiet, as well. If you have ever been irked by noisy popcorn crunching or loud whispers in a movie theater, you owe it to yourself to rush to the local multiplex to see A Quiet Place. The film demands hushed attention, and writer-director-actor John Krasinski uses visual composition and a muted soundscape to create a truly suspenseful (and fairly family friendly) horror film.
There were times when I found myself thinking of A Quiet Place as a science fiction film. Here is where things began to fall apart, with a bunch of unanswered questions: If the house has electricity, where is the power grid? How can you work a small family farm without making noise? (I guess that you could do it if you were a part of the slow food movement.) How far away is civilization, if at all still in existence?
I recommend that you view A Quiet Place as pure cinema. Admire the commitment of a great cast (which also include Noah Jupe and Cade Woodward as sons Marcus and Beau) that uses facial expressions and body language to great effect.A Quiet Place turns a dystopian future into a small chamber piece. Rather than focusing on the big picture, it offers a small story about a small family in a particular place. We share the Abbott family’s sense of dread as well as their love for one another. While each member of the family is committed to self-preservation, they are also prepared to sacrifice themselves for one another. Because they truly love one another, we care for them. In its own quiet way, this movie encourages us to go and do likewise
Four halos: Love of family, sacrifice for others and resourcefulness are affirmed in a well-made thriller.
One pitchfork: Occasional extreme violence; mild gore.
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Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader
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