Ten years after its release date, I finally got to watch one of Anthony Hopkins’ best movies, The Silence of the Lambs. If you have read my previous post, you would know that I am the type of person who prefers books over movies, and that I deliberately avoid, as much as I can, watching a film adaptation of a book I haven’t read yet. This is the reason why it took me this late to watch The Silence of the Lambs, a movie based on a book with the same title by Thomas Harris. This does not mean, though, that I have already read the book. I haven’t, and for the same reasons why I watched The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo without having read the book.
The Silence of the Lambs is a story about Clarice Starling, played by Jodie Foster, an FBI trainee who was assigned to seek the help of the detained serial killer and cannibal, psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter, catch another serial killer on the loose known only as Buffalo Bill. Starling has to decipher the clues given to her by the brilliant but dangerous Dr. Lecter in order to locate Buffalo Bill. But in order for Starling to fully accomplish her task and work closely with Lecter, she must first protect herself from the memories of her past.
What I like about the movie is its fast-paced and engaging story. Anthony Hopkins is especially outstanding and he fits the role of Hannibal Lecter perfectly. I felt grossed out at some parts but then these were also the parts that gave more meaning to the story. Jodie Foster is also believable as a newbie FBI agent but I felt like some details about her character were a bit rushed or omitted. Just like the character of Buffalo Bill. I believe the details of their childhood, especially that of Buffalo Bill, are more fleshed out in the novel, as is always the case of books adapted into movie.
I have a preference for crime novels, especially the serial killer type of stories, and The Silence of the Lambs truly suits my taste. Hannibal Lecter reminds me of Caleb Carr’s Dr. Laszlo Kreizler in the novel, The Alienist, except that in the movie, the brains behind catching the killer is also a serial killer himself. This is what makes the movie very novel and interesting.
For a movie that was produced in 1991, The Silence of the Lambs is outstanding. It indeed deserves the positive critical acclaims and awards it has received.