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The Bay of Silence

****
2020

‘…a dark, adult thriller with a succession of disturbing twists that ensure the viewer is kept guessing…’

Based on a 1984 novel by Lisa St Aubin de Teran, The Bay of Silence falls into the category of an adult thriller, a genre largely the province of tv these days, although the likes of Gone Girl and The Girl On the Train pop up to remind us that we love a good twisty-turny plot. Paula van der Oest’s thriller goes to a far darker place than most, but even if the journey is a little tortuous at times, it’s still an edge-of-your-seat drama that keeps you wondering about the motives of all concerned.

Fresh from his stint as the BBC’s Dracula, Claes Bang plays Will Walsh, a businessman who sets up home with Rosalind Pallister (Olga Kurylenko), despite more than a few warnings that’s something’s not right below her super-glam exterior. So when Rosalind vanishes after giving birth, taking their kids with her, and leaving the word LIAR written on the wall of their house, Will finds himself drawn into a web of subterfuge; could the creatively named Milton (Brian Cox) know more than he says? His passion for fire-arms suggests a murky past…

Actress turned screenwriter Caroline Goodall has a number of tricky giallo elements to balance here, particularly since the stakes are serious; the death of a child is key, allegations of sexual abuse and pornography are churned up, and those who seek a cheerful upbeat resolution will be frustrated. But The Bay of Silence will upset a few guys when it comes to depicting men as gas-lighting women, and for once the source material, screen-writer and director are attuned to the issue. Will understands things from a restricted POV, suspecting is wife is mad, and widening his eyes to how Rosalind sees the world is a key part of the story; if you’re only interested in the man’s, man’s world, this story won’t chime. Those broad-minded enough to stay the course will at least get the satisfaction of a complicated denouement that you simply couldn’t guess, despite plenty of clues and red herrings along the way.

This is a dark, adult thriller with a succession of disturbing twists that ensure the viewer is kept guessing right until the final scene, smartly-written and boosted by powerhouse performances from Claes Bang and Oleg Kurylenko. Both have a high public profile, but manage to convince by immersing themselves as grief-ridden characters who don’t have a valve to release their despair. Paula van der Oest’s film delivers when it comes to wicked diversion, and while not in the same league as Gone Girl, it should appeal to an audience starved of serious crime dramas; like Will and Rosalind, you probably won’t see what’s coming down the pike until it’s too late….

Signature Entertainment presents The Bay of Silence in the UK on DVD & Digital HD 28th September 2020.

Thanks to Signature Entertainment for early access to this title.

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  1. Oh, this is dark and murky; might need some of Gilman’s Yellow Wallpaper…and I got a whiff of a Bay of Red Herrings, except for the suitcase. Mark Twain was right…we’re all nuts, it’s just a matter of degree. Scenery was good.

    • Great tip; wish I’d thought of Gidman’s Yellow Wallpaper! and yes, plenty of red herrings here, a few of which could be been lived without, but then, is’nt that the nature of a red herring?

    • And I’m a fan of twists too, and it took me forever to catch up with the twists here. Very dark film, so be warned…

  2. Ooh…this sounds nice! I love thrillers with twists, and Brian Cox is a very good (and underrated) actor, so I’m hoping I can see this one at some point. And well, I like dark storylines as well, so that’s another plus for me! 😊

  3. I love a good twisty thriller. will look for this one. Kurylenko has certainly developed as an actress and seems to be perpetually employed, with the occasional top-billing as with The Courier and Brian cox generally adds something to any picture. Not sure “from the executive producer of Bone Tomahawk” pulls me in though.

    • Reading a few negative reviews, but this is a female-driven thriller and won’t work for those expecting a conventional male-driven plot; Kurylenko is developing as an actress and she’s good in this….

    • I’ve never understood those credits that say something is “from the producer of.” I guess in a very few cases it means something, if the producer has a reputation of putting out a certain kind of film. Jason Blum maybe. But here the executive producer’s name isn’t even given. So you’re just supposed to think of Bone Tomahawk. Only this doesn’t sound much like Bone Tomahawk.

      • I see your point. I guess the bona fides mean that 1) this isn’t the work of novices and 2) if you could handle the nasty-ass business in Bone Tomahawk, you’ll survive this. But agree, some of these producer credits are a bit of a leap…

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