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Silent Storm, The (2014)


Stars: Andrea Riseborough, Damian Lewis, Ross Anderson, John Sessions, Kate Dickie, Derek Riddell.

Director: Corinna McFarlane

There are times (perhaps too many?) when it is difficult to understand why some films are chosen to be premiered at the London Film Festival except (and I freely admit to the accusation of critical cynicism) that, when they are subsequently marketed to paying cinemagoers, the movies in question can be promoted as having been screened at the London Film Festival

It has taken two years for writer-director Corinna McFarlane’s embarrassingly dreadful 2014 melodrama to be foisted on the paying public.

It’s hard to see why.

No fewer than 16 producers (executive and co-) are credited.

They could well outnumber satisfied filmgoers subjected to their and McFarlane’s efforts which deliver the near-perfect film to recommend to someone you loathe.

The setting is a remote Scottish island some time after World War Two (a white Mini allegedly establishes the period) where increasingly deranged preacher Damian Lewis (“The whole community is looking to me!”) makes life increasingly hellish for his wife (“You are a Devil’s witch!”) Andrea Riseborough.

Out-and-out raging melodrama that makes Lady Chatterley’s Lover at its most lurid seem positively serene is catalyzed by the arrival of juvenile offender Ross Anderson who, sent to Lewis’ rectory for rehabilitation, is forced into brutal hard labour by the clergyman…and a patently predicable affair with Riseborough…

The story is overwrought and undernourished and as rocky as Lewis’ unlikely Scottish accent and even occasional good acting by Riseborough and some attractive cinematography (Ed Rutherford) fail to make it either convincing, interesting or worth paying to see.

The sole point of interest is the top billed executive producers are Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of James Bond fame. They would be lucky in the extreme to receive a critical rating of 007 out of 1000 for The Silent Storm.

Alan Frank

UK 2014. UK Distributor: Sony. Colour.
102 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 22 May 2016