Published: 07/11/2014 09:55 - Updated: 07/11/2014 13:53

REVIEW: Inverness Film Festival - The Silent Storm

Damian Lewis as Balor - the minister with a few slates missing - in The Silent Storm.
Damian Lewis as Balor - the minister with a few slates missing - in The Silent Storm.



Review: Margaret Chrystall

* * *

Though the dramatic music of the Bulgarian female Eva Quartet is powerfully used to prop up the climax of this flawed tale - composer Alistair Caplin's solo On Yonder Hill There Sits A Hare is another spine-tingling moment -there are many other occasions where you wish the soundtrack had remained silent – usually when actor Damian Lewis is almost getting that Scottish island accent he’s attempting. Elsewhere in the world, the “remote Scottish island” may seem more convincing as the home of Calvinistic hellfire minister Balor (Lewis), but it’s yet another slightly wrong note that distracts from what is a beautiful portrayal of a building relationship between Balor’s long-suffering wife Aislin (Andrea Riseborough) and supposedly violent city boy Fionn (Ross Anderson).

What happens: War veteran and hellfire minister Balor bullies his post-miscarriage wife (Riseborough) and his congregation who depart for the mainland when the island’s mine closes. Half-mad, controlling and a heavy drinker, Balor still agrees to take in young criminal Fionn to put the youth back on track. But Balor’s told by God to strip his church and take the furnishings by boat to the mainland and is gone for a few days. Fionn and Aislin revel in their freedom till the return of Balor brings one pivotal moment when a healing between husband and wife could happen until violence triggers an irreversible shift in the trio’s situation.

Best quote: Balor: “To expect happiness in this life is a form of arrogance.”

Who for: Anyone who wants to see a more passionate performance from Damian Lewis than witnessed in US hit spook drama Homeland (though this is not his finest hour) and fans of intense, claustrophobic drama for a small cast.

Quick review: Damian Lewis’s unconvincing accent undermines the actor’s brave bid at creating a violent, troubled man of the cloth, as Andrea Riseborough steals the movie.

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