Five Blog Posts: III Analysis – The Silence of the Lambs

[Spoilers through out the post]

I chose to analyse The Silence of the Lambs(1991), one of four movies about a serial killer with the taste for human flesh because I really like the combination of the two genres; Thriller and Horror. The portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter is also very striking.

It tells a story of a female FBI agent which tries to find a serial killer who kidnaps and skins his victims. The whole department is unable to find any clues to the mystery. When the daughter of an important senator is kidnapped, Clarice(the FBI agent) is sent to an unusual source of potential information, Dr. Lector.

There are many aspects that make this film stand out from the rest, one of which is the female protagonist, Clarice Starling(Jodie Foster). She is portrayed as a strong, confident, independent woman in a job that is traditionally “intended” for men. At the beginning of the film we can see that she is not taken very seriously in an all male work environment however as we get to know her and the way she thinks, both the audience and the office gains respect for her.

The combination of thriller and a horror is also a good technique to keep the audience in their seats. I have seen this movie at least twice and I still have moments where I’m really tense and I ask myself “what happens next”, what is lurking around the corner or “did something move over there”. It is not often that when you watch a movie, new things come to your attention as you watch it again for example the scene with Dr. Lecter in a cage. As I watched it the first time I just saw a prisoner in a strict and yet sophisticated prison cell thinking of escaping. On the second try I realised that he is actually portrayed as a likeable character even though he effortlessly kills, eats and skins his victims. He is old, well mannered, interested in culture and the arts, which puts him in a completely different category to your usual prisoner.

Overall I really enjoyed the movie as it introduced all the important elements a the right time, It wasn’t too long or too short. All of the characters were very well designed and in depth. One of the things that bothered me a little was the strictness of the female protagonist. It was really difficult to read her emotions and she seemed mad all the time. Of course this could have been done on purpose to show that she is just as strong as men and she doesn’t care about emotions or to contrast it better and make her look more open and emotional when talking to Hannibal.


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