By Alexis Brownlie
Gender Dysphoria, murder, flesh, gore, terror, mind games and Dr. Lecter come to mind when I think of The Silence of the Lambs. Released in 1991, the movie was directed by Jonathan Demme. If you are in need of a mind twisting thriller, and want to hold your breath for two hours, (and watch over your shoulder for the next month), watch this movie. Hint: Do not watch alone!
Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) is a former psychiatrist, locked in prison for killing and eating people. Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is appointed as the FBI agent to solve the case of Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine), a former client of Hannibal’s, who is sweeping the headlines as a murderer who is killing and skinning women. Clarice is sent to interview the frightening Hannibal in prison as the police continue to search in desperation for clues as to the identity of Buffalo Bill.
Each scene and interaction between Clarice and Hannibal provides some foreshadowing on Buffalo Bill’s actions. It is a thriller with a female hero, fighting to save other women. Jodie Foster gives an outstanding performance and should make women proud. The underlying meaning to Buffalo Bill’s killings brought an interesting twist to the movie. Gender Dysphoria is a consistent theme throughout the movie. Buffalo Bill no longer wants to be a male. In a bizarre plot twist, the murders, the skinning, and gender transformation are united.
Not only is the plot a pull, the cameras angles focus mainly on people’s eyes and highlighting innocence and desperation of the girls (Buffalo Bill’s victims), compelling is Clarice’s determination to find Buffalo Bill, Hannibal’s enjoyment of watching the case, and Buffalo Bill’s desire for complete transformation. I would watch this movie again in a heartbeat. There was nothing silent about this movie, and the lambs bleated in a variety of ways.