Clarice Starling is a young FBI that has been given the assignment to interview the vicious and despicable serial killer Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lector. Intelligent, cunning, and vicious Hannibal fed on his victims after he killed them. Starling’s interview with Lector is fueled with the hopes of Hannibal sharing some clue or idea to lead them to “Buffalo Bill”, a serial killer at large, who has kidnapped a Senator’s daughter. What Clarice finds in the dungeon that Lector has been incarcerated in is her own worst nightmare. She sets to interview Hannibal but it isn’t long before the tables are turned and he is analyzing her, and most frighteningly, he is correct is his analysis. In some twisted aspect of reality Hannibal develops a fondness for Clarice end eventually offers her information that would lead to the capture of Buffalo Bill, but for a price. That price is moving him to a different jail. Upon which, the result is disastorous. He escapes.
Jodi Foster’s Oscar winning role was won simply through the flicker of emotion in her eyes. The slight quiver of her lips, the gloss over her eyes, and the subtle shake of her voice seemed the most human performance in all of film history. Hopkins performance as Lector was the perfect contrast to Clarice’s shaky, careful naivete. Lector was confident, but not arrogant. Intelligent, cunning, and even polite. Almost likable, despite his heinous crimes. While portrayed as a monster he sees himself as an artist. The scenes between the two, separated only by the thick glass, contained unbelievably dynamic interchanges that propelled an already eerie film. It was shot in a grayish tint that gave the movie the feel like there was always a dark cloud looming overhead. The plot itself pushes along at a natural pace where the suspense builds casually on it’s own. While the script was structured fantastically and the direction smart enough to know when to show gruesomeness and when to leave the imagination to run wild. The interpretation of the novel transferred beautiful, but it was really the casting that made Silence of the Lambs such a shocking and intense film.
Even today Hannibal the Cannibal is one of the most intriguing characters to come off the big screen, and was the inspiration for two more films based on Hannibal, but only The Silence Of The Lambs has stood the test of time. I absolutely adore it and would recommend it to anyone who likes to be intellectually challenged by the creations of a demented mind. Silence Of The Lambs is what motion pictures are about. Four out of Four stars.