“In order to save her son’s life, Ana must find a powerful stone. Her grandfather originally discovered it in the Zone of Silence, the Bermuda Triangle of Mexico. Throughout her desperate search, Ana stumbles upon family secrets and enemies who believe the stone’s power is worth killing for.”
Silencio sold me with its poster before it sold me with its premise. You put John Noble and Rupert Graves as the ostensible major characters in anything, and you have my undivided attention. It’s not quite accurate, though, because while Noble and Graves do set up most of the plot, the story really is about Melina Matthews as Ana, and her attempt to find this stone that changed so the course of her family’s lives — including her own.
At about half way through the film, Graves’ Peter explains how that stone works, thusly:
“It seems that, as the world is made it up of energy, it knows how to balance that energy. Sooner or later, the energies will self-correct, and if you save somebody, the consequences could be unpredictable and terrible.”
Yes, it’s really ridiculous, but John Noble is nothing if not amazing at taking absurd premises and imbuing them with strong emotional resonance. There’s not a little of his Walter Bishop character from the Fox series, Fringe, in his portrayal of James: slippery memory, strange science, and emotional ties to a young child for whom he’d do anything, to name but a few.
Hell, Silencio has the aforementioned stone, time travel, a Mexican stand-off, and ghosts, yet the work of Noble and Matthews allow the film to stay on a relatively even keel, so long as you don’t question any of the details too terribly closely. The movie’s plot is more about loss and redemption than any actually nitty-gritty scientific achievements, no matter how much screen time might be given to Peter’s lectures.
Lorena Villarreal directed the film from her own script, and that’s likely what allows the film to dance on the precipice of this seemingly crazed plot without ever falling off the edge into absurdity. Villarreal asks a lot of her audience with Silencio, but she’s willing to treat it with respect and dignity if they strap in and let the tears flow.
Silencio is out now in theaters.