Review: The Silent Twins
June and Jennifer Gibbons are twins from the only Black family in a small town in Wales in the 1970s and '80s. Feeling isolated from the community, the pair turn inward and reject communication with everyone but each other, retreating into their own fantasy world of inspiration and adolescent desires. After a spree of vandalism, the girls are sentenced to Broadmoor, an infamous psychiatric hospital, where they face the choice to separate and survive or die together.
Letitia Wright, Tamara Lawrance, Jack Bandeira, Declan Joyce, Michael Smiley
‘The Silent Twins’ is one of the years most unconventional biopics. While the filmmaking is unique, it didn’t quite benefit in telling this bizarre story in the best way possible.
This is a very stylized film, and while it can be argued that the unusual aesthetic on display here is necessary given the peculiar nature of the story, I feel as though some of that same creativity could’ve been channeled in a version of this film that was told in a more straightforward fashion.
I often found myself distracted by the disturbing nature of the stop motion scenes, which would sporadically happen throughout the film. I felt like I was watching something very real and almost heartbreaking, then these sudden shifts would happen where these twisted and dark stop motion scenes would occur, and it really just pulled me out of the film.
While the performances in this film were fantastic, I can’t say I liked or could connect with any of the characters. Some of the decisions the twins make early on in the film made me frustrated, and I found it difficult to sympathize with them most of the time. However, as I got deeper into the film, I liked the twins slightly more in the final half hour, which was my personal favorite part of the film, only being held back by an out of place stop motion scene involving a heart of a dog placed into a baby. While these scenes are meant to be recreating some of June’s literary works, I just don’t think they were necessary in order to tell this story.
‘The Silent Twins’ is a perplexing real life story, held back by some incongruous creative decisions that leave the viewer more confused and disturbed, than educated.