THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
Jonathan Demme, 1991
A sheep cooperates with a wolf to finds a monster.
Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is a rising star at the Academy. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants her to meet with the psychopath Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) to gather precious hints about the serial killer Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine).
Lecter knows who Buffalo Bill is. He makes a deal with Starling : he will help her in return for her confession.
I tell you things, you tell me things. Not about this case, though. About yourself. Quid pro quo. Yes or no?
She solves his anagrams and finds Buffalo Bill before her chief Jack Crawford himself. She kills the lunatic and frees his latest victim Catherine Martin (Brooke Smith). As for Lecter, he runs away and starts his hunt for the man he calls his ‘Nemesis‘, Dr. Chilton (Anthony Heald).
The Silence of the Lambs is about a couple that works.
The world seems to be upside down. Whereas the craziest killers such as Buffalo Bill are still free, the most refined souls are locked in a basement of a psychiatric hospital somewhere in Baltimore. What kind of world do we live in, where a man such as Lt Boyd (Charles Napier) is teaching manners to another man such as Hannibal Lecter?
You be a gentleman and you’ll get three hots and a cot.
Hannibal Lecter turns out to be the only one who cares for Clarice Starling. The boys at the Academy are checking her ass while she does her jogging. Dr Chilton flirts with her during a work meeting. A prisoner is jerking off and throwing his semen at her face. Local cops are looking down on her. Even Jack Crawford who likes her a lot asks her to leave the room because he thinks sexual crimes can be disturbing for women. The world is violent for women and Clarice in particular. Her life is like running in a misty woods, trying to avoid the obstacles. She wants to go away and reach the top. And surprisingly, the only man who is kind enough to help her achieve this objective is the man no one would expect.
Their collaboration proves that men and women can still get along. She needs a fatherly figure who can challenge her so she can grow. He needs to talk to someone who went through a personal drama and didn’t turn into an asshole. He will bring her his wisdom. She will bring him her freshness.
Gender equality was an issue back then and it still is today. But Lecter and Starling prove there is still hope. Because Lecter is able to stay in the shadow to feed Clarice’s ambition and help her be in the spotlight. He disappears so she can be the star. Thanks to him she gets a promotion. On the other hand she is not afraid of him. She looks at him in the eyes and is open to each of his questions. Thanks to her he can reconcile with his job. Thanks to her he may think that there are still people who can be worth living.
The world is more interesting with you in it.
Thanks to her he can run. He’s grateful for everything she did for him.
In return, she can only try to respect his freedom.
Those two understand each other and their collaboration is successful. They both prove that when people are courteous and receptive to courtesy, the world is a better place.
What does it take to stay in the shadow? What does it take to let someone free? Who is the real monster?
This publication reflects the views only of the author.