Thriller that inspired almost any movie where the F.B.I. was involved and gave birth to the style of 1990s science fiction shows like "The X-Files". The chemistry between Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins was something unique on screen at the time and the story were an engaging nail-biter throughout. Is it allowed to love both this one and "Manhunter"? Yes, it is.
Revisiting this for the first time since my teens, I had two realizations. First, that it's not as serious-minded as I remember—in fact, in its shameless goosing, cartoonish villainy, and sexual subtext, its heart is the sort of smart B-movie prized by Roger Corman (who gets a cameo). Second, that that makes me like it just as much—if craft can convince the Academy that a cheeky thriller is prestigious, god bless.
I strongly agree what Jonathan Demme said; Lecter is a good man, he just trapped in an insane mind. Alas the American Film Institution made Hannibal Lecter as the #1 greatest film villain out of fifty. This is indeed a very best performance of Hannibal, no wonder Anthony Hopkins won Oscar's Best Actor.
3.5-4. I don't know if the film gets all the way 'there' in resolving the issues raised by its own evocations (the suffering of the innocent, the limits of personal transformation, the bristles against gender in a neutral political system), but taken together, they give texture to a movie that is able to resolve its own central action. It's further served by some excellent direction from Jonathan Demme.
"Don't take this the wrong way, I'm glad you're making the movie, but I'll probably never see it." And I asked him why and he said an interesting thing. He said that he read in an interview with John le Carre that after le Carre saw Alec Guinness play Smiley that he could never write Smiley again...a character that he thought he would write for the rest of his life, but Alec Guinness had stolen Smiley from him - J.D.
The reason that this gothic horror works is the relationship between Lecter and Starling. Lecter is duplicitous; an adversary pretending to be a mentor, respectful of her but still arrogant. Starling is tough willed but more fragile than she lets on, trying to prove herself to a world which looks down on her background and gender.
rewatched this bc i bought a uni sweatshirt and it made me think about the opening shots. anyway this really is a movie about men watching women and i'm glad i watched this again when i was older, while wearing full sweats and having really bad cramps. yes i can and WILL mention cramps in everything i type on mubi, damn what was i even talking about at the beginning of this review i can't remember
The psychological tension between Foster and Hopkins are easily its royal flush, as it's these masterful scenes of them sparring that glue the procedural and gothic horror elements together that alone don't have as much dramatic or emotional depth. Manhunter knew when to pull back for characterization, Silence never quite does. It still has some obvious if tense scenes, but at times it's overblown (Lecter's escape.)