Re-Watching “The Silence of the Lambs”

You look rather pale, Clarice. Did something scare you?

You look rather pale, Clarice. Did something scare you?

When I think of The Silence of the Lambs (1991)I am mentally transported back in time to the awkward days of my youth, sitting in our living room with my sister and her then “boyfriend” on their first date under the supervision of my uncle and my annoying self. Why they chose to watch this particular movie is beyond me and I vaguely remembered any of its contents until re-experiencing it this week. It is interesting what your mind chooses to remember and forget, and it became quite clear very quickly that my brain chose to suppress a lot. This literally could have been a comedy based on my memory. I mean, I knew Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) was a cannibal, but casually forgot that they would actually show some of this on-screen. Well played brain. Well played.

Now watching this movie from a, well, semi-mature perspective liberally salted with my educated film knowledge, I can appreciate this film for more than just something inhumane and disgusting. As the only horror film to ever win the Best Picture crown at the Academy Awards, it definitely proves to be more than a film about cannibalism, psycho’s and murder. I mean, this is Jodie Foster and Hopkins at their best and the storyline is so well adapted, so seamless, that you forget you are watching a film, and is this not the best part of going to the movies? To get so immersed in the narrative that you never once check your cell phone to see if you have any Facebook notifications? A true sign of brilliance. When it was over, I was almost sad because I wanted it to keep going. I think it is safe to say that as a teenager, this was the opposite of what I wanted. I’m pretty confident it was more along the lines of, “Well, I’m not sleeping tonight. Good day.”

Face masks are totally hot right now.

Face masks are totally hot right now.

To be honest, I did not plan to write this post in an attempt to deeply analyze and critique the movie, assessing the significance of the title, commenting on Lecter’s sinister hissing sound, the culture magnitude that the name Clarice now holds, or the importance of the moth that is placed down the throats of the deceased (which is a nice way of putting it). No, I just wanted to reflect. A then and now if you will. I find it quite curious to compare an initial viewing with a more educated one and I have now come to the realization that this is the perfect date movie, and plan to subject my next fling to the gripping mystery of Buffalo Bill and to ensure that all my male friends now use “Hello, Clarice” as a pick up line.

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