- Deviation: The strands of the movie never come together.
- The Potential Problem: As Jonathan Demme mentions in the DVD doc, he was really afraid that the audience would get antsy that we abandon Clarice for a long time while Lecter makes his escape. By the same token, it’s odd that Lecter disappears from the story after his escape, and never gets an showdown with Clarice.
- Does the Movie Get Away With It? In fact, it would have been easy to put Clarice at the escape, and one can imagine a version in which Clarice is the first to figure out what Lecter has actually done, and she’s the one who tries to warn the ambulance driver, a moment too late. Presumably the only reason that they didn’t do this was that they wanted to stay true to the book. In the end, it might have smoothed out the movie slightly, but it’s not really a problem.
- By contrast, one can also imagine a version of the movie in which Lecter comes after Clarice, possibly even converging on Bill’s house at the same time, but that clearly would have been a much weaker choice. The lack of closure between Clarice and Lecter is “unsatisfying” in the best way, leaving us shocked, impressed by the movie’s audacity, and unsettled about the problem of evil. The only advantage would be that there wouldn’t have been a craving for the (inevitably disappointing) sequel.
Monday, April 08, 2013
Straying From the Party Line # 2: Silence of the Lambs
Just a short entry today, because Silence of the Lambs comforms to this checklist better than any other movie I’ve ever tested. The one area that sticks out is one that also stuck out last time: