Soundless is a very subtle thriller. It never dazzles, never shows off. The plot is similarly understated. At times such characteristics work for a film (think The Conversation) but sometimes it can simply be boring. Soundless is a bit of both.

Soundless (Lautlos)A product of the X-Filme Creative Pool, Tom Tykwer produced this thriller which never quite manages to attain the brilliance to which it aspires. There is a dreamlike minimalism to this film, but I found it bland rather than stylish.

There are a couple of brilliant scene setups. One particularly tense scene had me on the edge of my seat until its shocking denouement. Mennan Yapo certainly knows how to orchestrate a wonderful sense of foreboding, regardless of whether or not you know what’s coming.

Unfortunately, this film can also be very boring. The characters barely speak, and when they do it’s usually a case of monosyllabic mumbling. Without an in depth understanding of our main protagonists, their actions seem overly simplistic and immature at times.

I often enjoy films about assassins, but there is nothing here we haven’t seen before. At times both tedious and pretentious, there are simply not enough great moments to carry this film.

Rating: 2 stars
Review by Stuart Wilson, 3rd May 2005
Hoopla Factor: 2 stars

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