A follow up to the wacky Three Miles North of Molkum (the jury is still out if that was a bona fide documentary or a mockumentary), writer-director Corinna McFarlane coaxes a stellar cast to star in The Silent Storm. But there's a reason why it's taken two years from its appearance at the 2014 London Film Festival and this week's release as gross overacting and questionable editing render it unconvincing.
nbsp;A small craggy island off the coast of Scotland in the years following World War II is our setting for this romantic drama. Following the closure of the local mine, the island is sparsely populated with the last few pious residents looking to fiery minister Balor McNeill (Lewis) for guidance. He and downtrodden wife Aislin (Riseborough) have their problems though: they have recently lost a baby at birth and now have an unexpected guest in the shape of 'sinner' Fionn (Anderson), who is to stay in their house to learn the ways of righteousness. But his sudden appearance brings to the fore the simmering tensions within the shaky marriage…
he Silent Storm stars off quite well. The heartache drives a wedge between the husband and wife, who keeps shelves of natural medicine (including magic mushrooms) hidden in the tool shed; one breakfast scene has the teary Balor, unable to get over the death of their child, watch his depressed wife shuffle about the kitchen. But if these tears hint at something below Balor’s blistering speeches and self-righteous sermons it never comes to fruition: Balor is Fiery Preacher 101 and the usually dependable Lewis doesn’t attempt to rein him in; he wears a wild-eyed grimace throughout like he’s trying to life a small house. The accents can wobble at times too. Kate Dickie can see where this is going and makes for the mainland very early on.
f that wasn't bad enough the film feels like it was hijacked by a mad editor, hell bent on ruining what film is left. The music is overwhelming and ill-suited to the scenes (some of it sounds like it was lifted from a 60s swords-and-sandals epic), the constant fade to black occur in the strangest of places and just as scenes are reaching a climax, while sequences don't mesh because of scenes dropped (one example has an incensed Balor bound upstairs to bellow at Fionn for having the temerity for taking a bath but when he barges in he’s carrying Fionn’s banned books: when did he get them and how did he find them and what about the bath?).
t’s not all bad. With a beautiful farmhouse perched on a cliff side, some of the scenery (mull apparently) is nice.