Claes Bang + Olga Kurylenko + Brian Cox + a psychological thriller revolving around family secrets = a movie that doesn’t quite add up.
Paula van der Oest’s The Bay of Silence is available in India for the first time on the recently launched pay-per-view platform BookMyShow Stream. The architect Will (Bang) falls deeply in love with artist Rosalind (Kurylenko), a widow with twin daughters (Litiana and Lilibet Biutanaseva). Events move fast within the first half of the plot’s 93 minutes – marriage, the arrival of a new baby, and a crisis that threatens to tear the couple apart.
The explanation for Rosalind’s behaviour is dancing in plain view but is kept out of reach. The time taken to unravel the mystery could have been spent on expanding on Will’s nightmare, but is instead wasted on running around in circles. Caroline Goodall’s screenplay, adapted from the novel by Lisa St Aubin De Teran, demands a healthy suspension of disbelief. We are asked to pardon Will’s ignorance about Rosalind’s hidden side, look away from the clues strewn about, and ignore the obvious creepiness of Brian Cox’s artist Milton.
Will bears the brunt of the need to maintain an air of suspense at all costs. Is there anything else I need to know, Will pitifully asks the woman who casually drops a truth bomb late into the narrative.
Claes Bang, who was excellent in Ruben Ostlund’s The Square, struggles to find the balance between restraint and curiosity. The performance by Olga Kurylenko, whose credits include the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace, is similarly uninvolving to the point of being flat.