Silent Cry Movie Review
Written by Becky Roberts
DVD released by MVD Entertainment
Directed by Julian Richards
Written by Simon Lubert
2002, 85 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on 27th October 2013
Emily Woof as Rachel Stewart
Douglas Henshall as Daniel Stone
Clive Russell as DC Dennis Betts
Kevin Whately as Dr. Richard Herd
Frank Finlay as Dr. Robert Barrum
Craig Kelly as Dr. Robert Mosley
Rachel Stewart is over the moon when she bears her first child. But when she is told only hours later that her newborn son Charlie has mysteriously died, a mother’s dream becomes a mother’s nightmare as her world collapses. Adamant that something sinister has come into play and that Charlie is still alive, Rachel follows her maternal instincts to search for answers, and finds a painful, dark truth on the way.
The chase is racy and attentive and the scriptwriting direct and well-controlled, entwining themes of betrayal, abduction and conspiracy while avoiding the usual pitfalls of wasting time with unnecessary plot twists and turns.
But Richards offers us more than a conventional, cut-to-the-chase crime thriller; Taking the reigns of 20th century cinematic social realism, Silent Cry addresses the ills of urban society as the underclass adopt the prostitutes, drug addicts, lager louts and the typical ‘street trash’ labels that go with it, while the real wrongdoers stand protected behind the name of the law. It’s by no means a truly provocative statement, but it helps to revoke the gritty, smutty landscape of the urban underworld of London and, if nothing else, does wonders to provoke a nostalgic TV cop drama feel – despite turning it on its head. After all, everybody loves a plot at the hands of a corrupt cop or a deceitful doctor.
Batting for a single woman who has lost her baby is often easy as pie, and here, Emily Woof ensures it’s a doddle. Throwing everything she has into the desperate but determined character of Rachel, Woof is able to strike an admiral balance of the sympathetic, maternal figure and the gutsy, nothing-to-lose heroine – a female character not undeserved of the occasional air punch.
Though the acting sometimes creeps into squally soap opera territory, Woof’s performance is matched by a strong supporting role from Douglas Henshall, whose character as the good willed former-homeless cleaner Daniel that helps Rachel, wins us over and makes for an unlikely but interesting straggly-haired hero. TV legends Clive Russell (Great Expectations, The 13th Warrior) and Kevin Whately (Inspector Morse), as well as Craig Kelly (Titanic) also make up Richards’ star-studded cast.
Not forgetting that Richards’ work was more classified within the thriller and drama genres at this time in his career, there’s nothing particularly gory in Silent Cry. Gun shots, a stab in the back (literally and metaphorically) and a walk down prostitute alley is about as graphic as it gets. Its brutality is instead more visceral and lies in the mystery surrounding the baby’s whereabouts and the harrowing situation of a mother without her only child. Effective, haunting and suspenseful from beginning to end, this well-rounded production certainly warrants a thriving comeback at the end of the year.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.