You don’t want to miss watching “A Quiet Place”! The film might belong to the horror movie genre, yet it is far more sophisticated than that. A Quiet Place is a compelling psychological thriller set in an apocalyptic world. The plot revolves around a close-knit family with young kids. We see the couple (Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, who’s also the director), walking barefoot with their children in a dystopian-like setting. The cinematography captures derelict homes set against the backdrop of a harsh, rural setting. The family’s own house is fortified with an emergency system to protect it from preying, alien-like creatures that attack mercilessly when exposed to sound. The concept of living without sound seems bizarre but the movie works with this concept brilliantly.
An incredibly horrifying scene without any hint of gore shows us what happens when sound is heard. We are thrown into a dystopian world without a background narrative of how the protagonists came to be in a situation where they have to keep silent to survive against ruthless aliens.
Silence: Stay Quiet and Stay Together
What we do know, is that they are an incredibly close-knit family who suffer from a deep sense of guilt after having lost their son. They have a deaf daughter (Millicent Simmonds), who also blames herself for allowing her younger brother (Cade Woodward) to bring his toy plane along from the store. (Although their father made him leave it there and took out the batteries). We see how the parents communicate lovingly, yet firmly, with their children. They take extreme measures to ensure that they are safe. We see that the father has devised an assortment of hearing aids for the daughter to keep her safe from harm.
Even though A Quiet Place is supposed to be a horror movie, it portrays some incredibly poignant moments between parent and child, and between the couple. It is a heavily-nuanced story with many nerve-wracking moments, held together by love and silence.
Silence: A Metaphor for Imposed Muteness
Imposed silence takes on a life of its own in the movie. The characters manage to communicate their thoughts and emotions in the absence of dialogue. And when they do speak, it is in very hushed tones. There is a beautifully-touching scene between the two leads when they listen to music together, sharing ear phones. As a real-life couple, they have managed to transmit the magic and chemistry between them, to every onscreen moment together.
A Quiet Place transcends the typical horror movie stereotype in multiple onscreen moments. It shows us that it takes teamwork to discover how to move forward together. It takes hard work, persistence, patience and love to survive and overcome evil. The young daughter is deaf in real life too, and it is through her that we see a favourable turn in events. Her younger brother (Noah Jupe) plays the timid, younger sibling. But despite that, his strength shines through to protect his mother and his new born sibling. We see an entire continuum of human emotions, and at the core of it is love.
A Quiet Place: Love in the Time of Silence
Where sound is absent, body language, expressions, powerful cinematography and music communicate a story so powerful and unnerving, that one must watch it to believe it. How can the absence of sound and noise communicate a message so effectively? Well, it can, and it certainly has in this film.
A final word on The Quiet Place – The frequency of love and sound can see us through, no matter how high the odds seem to be. This film deserves a 4.5/5 star. Go watch!
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