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MOVIES (GFF 2022): Silent Land - Review

Silent Land feels reminiscent of Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni, portraying the deconstruction of a marriage that breaks apart when a couple go to a hotel and already find things falling apart around them - the first clue is that the pool isn't filled up for them, and then the second, an accident happens and the police bring them in for questioning - the only language that they have in common with a police translator is English, and things get worse from there.

This is a delicately paced drama that may not be to everyone's tastes but if you get on its wavelength - it will wow you. And as a general fan of slow-paced dramas like this I was hooked - you're not going to find these people easy to support and they're instantly detestable, but both Dobromir Dymecki and Agnieszka ┼╗ulewska deliver well-rounded performances that soar, getting the most out of their characters - displaying an instant affection at the same time peeling back the layers you realise there's something not quite right there. It's an entirely formative approach that doesn't go for any big showcasey set-pieces, largely able to avoid the spectacle and instead spends its time obsessed in the minutiae.

There's nothing quite new about this rich couple on holiday drama that you haven't seen told many times before and it does feel at times like it could have been shorter, but there's a lot to like about it all the same - Bartosz Swiniarski's cinematography takes the eye-catchingly beautiful Italian landscape and turns it into something special - matching the cold-hearted, and somewhat distant drama that for a debut ticks a lot of the right boxes - it's not perfect, few debuts ever are - but it's a great film that mostly finds a perfect excuse to peel back the curtains behind what is on the surface, a perfect couple - with fascinatingly stunning results.


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