I guess this is quite possibly the best cinematic depiction of how silence can be louder than words.
A Quiet Place was released on March 9, 2018. It is directed by John Krasisnski (What? I know! I was surprised too. I did not even know he was into directing or an action star), Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe, Cade Woodward and breakout star Millicent Simmonds (at least in my opinion). It is produced by Michael Bay (Transformers), Andrew Form ( The purge, Friday the 13th) and Brad Fuller (The purge, Ouija). The screenplay is written by Bryan Woods, Scott Beck and John Krasinski and adapted from a story written by the screenwriters themselves. In one word, this movie is brilliant.
John Krasinski stars as the patriarch in a family trying to survive in a dystopian earth. The planet, or at least whatever we see of it, seems to have been invaded by giant alien monsters that are highly susceptible to sound. The family consists of his wife, two sons and a daughter who is deaf. The movie does have plot inconsistencies and there are occasions where it modifies its own rules for the plot, but the characters do a very good job to hold you through the run time. The movie focuses mostly on the main nuclear family and their experiences in this hellish world. The monsters in the movie reminded me a bit of the giant bugs from cloverfield but done better in terms of their strengths and weaknesses. The writing is done fantastically so the story propels with well justified character decisions.
While a lot of dystopian or alien invasion movie spend a lot of time on world building, A Quiet Place does away with all that. All we need to know is that these monsters are dangerous and hunt using sound. The movie does a brilliant job of emphasizing this and constantly maintaining the fear of sound. They cover their house with sand to hide the sound of footsteps, which I was think was nifty. Just like the sand there are several measures the family takes to minimize sound as much as possible. I was not sure how I felt about having a deaf actress as part of the cast and characters. On one hand it is beautiful in how ironic it is that she cannot hear and the monsters have super sensitive hearing. On the other hand, it feels just a tad heavy handed, mind you, just a tad bit. It sort of reminds me of people in reality TV shows, where they talk about their ailments to gain sympathy. But the movie still does a decent job of not letting her inability to hear becoming an illogical hindrance in the story so to speak. Although if they already had a kid with an ailment, what was the point of adding a sickness for the other kid. I know things are already tough for our characters but like every other science fiction movie after signs, there is always that one child in the family who has some sickness that makes them weak and they need to be carried or are in dire need of some medicine. In that regard, I think they played the story of Millicent much better cause her deafness is not treated with ignorance. Its part of the plot. The son’s sickness never comes into the picture again after the first few minutes. It sort of feels unfair and just reduces the stakes for me a bit. I mean, think about it, people with ailments would be the first to go in an alien invasion situation. As grim as that is, its true.
Lets start with Millicent Simmonds. She is amazing in the movie. I think she does a fantastic job of portraying trauma and the blame she puts on herself due to a family tragedy. She does a great job of playing the role of the oldest child in the family. Her mother relies on her alot, and while she understands her responsibility as the oldest, she is still a child. Her chemistry with John Krasinski is phenomenal. While she does not outright argue or disobey her father, you can feel the tension between them. Its easy to tell there are things left unsaid and both avoid spending time together. I really appreciate them casting a deaf actress and then the cast learning ASL. It also makes sense story wise.
Emily Blunt plays the wife and the mother. She is pregnant in the movie and the focus is on her struggle of being a vulnerable mother who would soon have to give birth to a crying, wailing, basically a very loud baby. But despite portraying her in a weakened state, the movie does a fantastic job of showing how powerful a mother can be. She waddles through the movie but going through her story just increased the respect I had for her character. A wonderful and powerful portrayal of a parent.
Noah Jupe and Cade Woodward play the second and third child in the family respectively. I think they were ok in the movie. They did not have much of an ark that would have made them the focus at any point.
John Krasinski is amazing in the movie. He acted the hell out of this. And its quite obvious that he loves this project. He did a great job playing the patriarch who is constantly worried about his family’s safety. His character sort of serving as a point of support for all members. He really brings forth the fatherly feeling towards his on screen family. When he is around, you feel safe just watching the movie. Dare I say this is actually one of the best portrayal of a young father I have seen on screen. He gels very well with his cast. And he is ripped as hell. I wonder who will be next in Hollywood’s crusade in buffing the comedians of television and turning them into successful action stars.
A Quiet Place is an entertaining movie. It might be difficult to watch for parents, maybe younger parents as it does not shy away from being brutal. It does have gore but done tastefully. The movie does not treat its characters as bait to show the alien monsters to the audience. Unlike how alien movies are handled in Hollywood, Arrival and A Quiet Place are quite possibly the only ones that focus more on the emotional impact of invasions and the humans involved. Despite the science fiction aspect of the invasion, this movie in my opinion is very much a family drama. I did not expect to see so much acting in an alien movie. The trailer looked promising but I was expecting to see a horror or a thriller that focuses on a family. But instead we have a family focused movie that kept you at the edge of your seat but can also make you cry.
A Quiet Place is a fantastic movie. Even if you are not a fan of the genre, I request you to check it out. It does get gritty, it does not shy away from the reality of an actual invasion by sound sensitive monsters, but if you can stomach a bit of gore, this is easily one of the best movies of all time.
Did you guys like the movie too? What do you have to say about whats good and whats bad? Let me know in the comments. Any constructive criticism is welcome.
Until next time.