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This dull British movie really takes the psychological out of psychological thriller – a drama in which characters are driven to emotional breaking point by trauma and grief yet look as if they’re nodding off from the boredom of it all.
The director is Paula van der Oest, working with a script adapted from Lisa St Aubin de Terán’s 1986 novel. It’s clunky and dated, and what’s really frustrating is that this is a female-driven film with a woman at its centre – a young mother suffering from postnatal psychosis – yet the whole thing is told from the perspective of a man: her husband.
And it’s not as if the handsome Danish actor Claes Bang does anything interesting with the character of Will, a British architect who marries Rosalind (Olga Kurylenko), an artist with young twin daughters. When Rosalind becomes pregnant their blended family moves into an enormous London house and settle in for a gilded life. But soon after the birth of her son Rosalind begins acting strangely, manic and paranoid, scratching off little strips of wallpaper with her fingernails. When she vanishes with the kids one night, Will tracks her down to a remote beach house in France, where something terrible has happened.
At this point, you search for emotion in the faces of the actors: howling grief, rage, confusion, mild irritation with the preposterous plot. Nothing. Not even a twitch. Back in London, Will attempts to find out what is wrong with Rosalind. First stop is her ex-stepdad, the rich and powerful art collector Milton (nicely played by Brian Cox, with less boom and bluster, more quiet menace than usual). But the twist at the end is easily guessable, and poor Kurylenko, an executive producer on the film, really has very little to do here.
I couldn’t help wondering what Gone Girl writer Gillian Flynn might have done with this story of a woman with dark secrets in her past.
• Bay of Silence is available on digital platforms from 28 September.
Source: The Guardian
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