The Silent Storm: Film Review

I had never heard of The Silent Storm until I received an invite to a screening, but the top billing cast drew me in – which was a mistake. The performances by Damian Lewis and Andrea Riseborough are woeful. It is a surprise it has been released considering it first premiered to bad reviews at the 2014 London Film Festival.

Lewis plays Balor, an alcoholic, hysterical minister who treats his long-suffering, abused wife Aislin (Riseborough) more like a slave than a human being. They live on an unspecific Scottish island, which is being deserted following the closure of a mine. They are given delinquent Fionn (Ross Anderson) to rehabilitate with Balor’s strict, no-happiness lifestyle.  Balor goes loopy, completely guts his kirk and sails off a five-day journey with the materials, leaving Aislin and Fionn together.

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Aislin and Fionn’s budding friendship-turned-relationship is pleasant to watch and I liked the scenes without Lewis because they were sweet and you were learning something about who these characters actually are, rather than who they have to pretend to be around Balor. Every scene with Balor in was unpleasant. He is a cold, nasty character who cannot stand happiness so it is a depressing watch in itself, but Lewis’ performance was shocking. His Scottish accent was all over the place and he was over-acting so badly. He was hamming up the crazy paranoia and director/writer Corinna McFarlane should have reined him in.

While Lewis was monotonously playing this callous man, Riseborough’s character was a bit of everything and too inconsistent. Bleak one moment, happy another, defiant the next. I know people can change, but it didn’t feel natural. Her first onscreen argument with Lewis was like a course for over dramatics. The newcomer Anderson actually fairs the best! The story is okay and there were moments I liked but the performances just ruined everything. Avoid!

In cinemas Friday 20th May 

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