Beneath the Silence


By Paul Hall

Silence. We all are aware of the silence that surrounds us. For some the silence is golden. A minute or two away from the maddening rush of the world and our obligations. But others find the silence maddening and cannot function when things around them are not in motion. In the new film The Bay of Silence, it is clear that the quiet can sometimes hold secrets that cry out for attention.

Will (Claes Bang) and Rosalind (Olga Kurylenko) are a couple in love. The two have found a quiet bay and the peacefulness of the still water equates to a calm inside them. But as the peaceful frolic in the countryside comes to an end, they must return to real life and their adventures grace them with a young boy.

Despite the elation of adding the young boy to the family, Rosalind is in pain. She has started sleepwalking and heading into a kind of state of madness. It seems obvious that she is suffering from postpartum depression and it is affecting her entire life. An artist, she has always had some eccentricities, but when those become more than minor quirks, Will looks deeper into her past.

Things escalate when Will returns home from a business trip to find Rosalind and the kids missing and his digging produces more than even he expected. What horrors does the past hold?

At first glance, The Bay of Silence feels like it will be a simple thriller about a woman’s life and how her past creates chaos in her present situation. But this is a film that is not what its surface observation would lead you to believe. Bang gives us a man who is obsessively in love and elicits emotions as he does everything within his power to help her from her current struggles. The woman he loves is there and he desires her to return to happiness and that inner peace he thinks she once had with him. Bang makes Will’s pain real and his love true. But Bang is only half of the equation, and the smaller side.

The real performance belongs to Kurylenko as Rosalind. Secrets and silence always have a way of being exposed and in her performance Kurylenko forces us to feel the love she has for Will, the pain we have for her struggle and even detest some aspects of what she has done, all in the span of 90-odd minutes. It is easier for an actor to try to get one emotion from an audience, but multiple and very divergent feelings is a tough task and Kurylenko delivers.

And I loved Brian Cox’s role as Milton (Rosalind’s stepfather). He is a consummate veteran who knows how to push the buttons and create a loving, doting man for viewers to embrace.

Together it’s a cast that delivers on a story with multiple levels. Like a bay that is peaceful on the surface and quiet at first glance, what may be lurking beneath the calm is a different world than we can see. It takes going deep, beneath the silence, to expose the totality of life for all of us.

Paul’s Grade: B

The Bay of Silence
Rated NR
Stars: Claes Bang, Olga Kurylenko, Brian Cox
Director: Paula van der Oest

Available now on On Demand and in select theaters.