The Silence (2010)

In Amazing, BBC, Crime, Recommendation, Review, series on 26/01/2012 at 9:19 pm

An intense four part sensory and thrilling drama about a deaf 18 year old girl and the turbulent events spinning her into adult life at a ravenous pace while she’s staying with her aunt and uncle in Bristol.

Amelia (Genevieve Barr) recently had a hearing operation and is undergoing speech training close to where her police detective uncle and his family live. Her character is beautiful: frustrated about her protective parents, eager and curious, frightened and irrational and highly sensitive and sensual because of it. This makes her actions unlikely at times and enthralling all the time. The viewer hears when and what she hears: when she takes out her hearing aid (which paradoxically makes her feel safe), sound drops and dialogue is subtitled.

When she accidentally witnesses a serious crime, she puts herself, her uncle’s career and the family in a tricky situation which builds up steadily throughout the series. The tension between aunt Maggie (Dervla Kirwan) and her husband Jim (Douglas Henshall) is very powerful and real – Jim being something between a hot-tempered work-obsessed prick and a likeable, responsible man. He’s also a man who cares about his niece but is a bit ridiculous at doing it. Meanwhile, the relationship between Amelia’s parents (Gina McKee and Hugh Bonneville) and their relationship with their daughter progresses in its own tense and terribly realistic way.

Main kudos go to the way all characters play their own essential parts and are so realistically executed. It’s also refreshing to watch a drama where not all emotions and actions are easy to explain. A real gem of a miniseries.



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