The Silent Storm 2014


Action / Drama / Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 24%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 44%
IMDb Rating 5.1


An enigmatic outsider living on a remote Scottish island finds herself caught between her minister husband and the delinquent who is sent to live with them.

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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by davish_wulf-1 8 / 10

Excelent drama in a beautiful landscape

Great interpretations by Andrea Riseborough,Damian Lewis and Ross Anderson set in Scotland's finest landscape. Slow burning drama, with beautiful photography work and soundtrack. Simple story, but very well done, about love, hatred and what God really is.

Reviewed by pacoh1969 5 / 10

Stars occluded the potential and it should never have been allowed outside a dramatic theatre

Like previous reviewers, I sensed a definite air of striving, striving to be something which has long since gone, does not need to be recreated and smacked of arrogance in a directorial debut, which this was. It would have served the producers better NOT to get big names to balance the directors lack of experience unless those big names could add something to the movie. It certainly would have served the viewer better if the skeleton of a fairly obvious feminist superstructure had not poked through the fairly thin skin of plot. And this is another example of a movie relying on external factors/images such wild scenery, panorama shots (often completely irrelevant or thematically unconnected with previous or next scenes) and community decay because some dying industry breathed its last and the locals had become completely dependent on it (I actually find myself stifling a slight yawn as i typed this - it is a little common in movies (pick a movie about closures of coal miner in northern England, "The Grand Seduction" (Newfoundland) etc) and hopefully as a theme will not be revisited unless accompanied by some originality in script). Puritanical, anachronistic Scottish minister included, the characters/stereotypes/clichés read a little like a chapter ("Sco'lund, away wi ya") in a book entitled "Easy Ways to Assemble Stereotypes in one Plot". Because I found it very lowest-common-denominator and clichéd and not only slightly based on a political opinion derived from the deep and meaningful student drunken conversations which in the blink of an eye and with no experience of the world mutates into one of those after dinner drunken middle-class chats which are studies in ignorance. But it could have been made anywhere! Instead of a puritanical Scottosh minister, read Irish Catholic priest, mid-west US, dust-bowl preacher, Scandanavian minister etc. And now you can see why most reviewers think the director was, at least, emulating Bergman, with a bleak view on a bleak time with a bleak future. I've tried to avoid spoilers particularly as I was worried I would confuse my references with other movies, but primarily because the movement or kinetics which does take place, are inconsequential. I don't want to use Irish references too much but the movie could have been made there if the script had been adapted because the pain, references to abuse (patriarchy or otherwise), decay, xenophobia and insanity, could all survive a ferry crossing to Ireland, to any rural or island community, north or south. Having said all of the above, I still watched it, found it somewhat engaging....but I suppose I am a male, in a patriarchal world (regardless of sexual orientation), and a patriarchal world which is somewhat confused by re-definitions and constantly being redefined before we have a chance to identify what the last set of changes were. Not new, not dramatically exciting, not a well-chosen cast, interesting but unimportant scenery, good set decoration and costumes, buoyed up by some of the cast that tried to pull away from the fire in case it burned itself.

Reviewed by euroGary 6 / 10

Were no Scottish actors available?

Balor is the God-fearing, fire-and-brimstone preacher on a remote Scottish island some time after (I think) the Second World War. His wife Aislin does not share his deep religion and is unhappy. They are asked to look after Fionn, an angelic-faced juvenile delinquent who nonetheless loves poetry. Count those stereotypes! Add in the facts that Balor abuses Aislin, that Aislin and Fionn find each other mutually interesting, and that Balor leaves them alone on the island while he visits the mainland, and you can see why I found this film very predictable (although to be fair, what you may think will happen between Aislin and Fionn, doesn't).

When introducing the screening at the 2014 London Film Festival, as well as burbling on about 'the patriarchy' (cue eye-rolling from your humble reviewer), writer/director Corinna McFarlane also mentioned her 'Scottish heritage' (while speaking in as English an accent as I've ever heard). This makes it strange that when casting the lead roles Scottish actors were largely ignored. Instead we have Damian Lewis (place of birth: St John's Wood) with a dreadfully laboured Scottish accent, and Andrea Riseborough (born in Newcastle upon Tyne) spending much of the film sounding as if she's just been parachuted in from Warsaw. The fact that talented Scottish thesp Kate Dickie is relegated to a small supporting role only highlights this. Thankfully, as Fionn, Ross Anderson is really Scottish and it is noticeable that his lines are the only ones from the three leads delivered with any fluidity.

So, stereotypical characters, predictable plot, dodgy accents... is this worth watching? Well, yes. Sure, the viewer knows where the story is going, but at least that means he doesn't have to work hard. And the Isle of Mull scenery is spectacular.

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