‘A Silent Party’ Tackles Patriarchy, Sexual Assault and Victim Blaming, Yet Misses the Mark

Ulises Duenas

 

A lot of movies, especially independent ones, tackle important social issues, and oftentimes foreign movies that do so can offer fresh, unique perspectives --  but unfortunately still miss the mark. One such film from Argentina -- The Silent Party -- comments on issues of patriarchal traditions, victim-blaming and female empowerment, yet its execution ends up feeling half-baked.

 

Laura and her fiancé David are going to her dad’s house in the country where their wedding will be held the next day. Things have grown stale between them, and to deal with David and her dad, Laura gets drunk and ends up wandering around until she finds a group of younger people having a silent dance party. The whole scene is foreign to her but she ends up participating and nearly has a sexual encounter with someone that turns into her being raped by the man’s friend.

 

 

From there, the angle quickly turns into a revenge story -- with Laura feeling powerless, ashamed and furious as she contends with David’s and her father’s egos on top of the trauma she is coping with.

 

The way the story comments on Laura’s standing in her relationship and family is the only poignant aspect of the movie. You feel sympathy for her from early on and can tell she feels constrained in a relationship that’s lost its spark. Once she tells David what happened to her, he quickly takes on the responsibility of revenge as a way of proving his masculinity, and Laura’s father soon does the same. While the movie tries to do something different with an old cliché, the way it’s executed stills seems a tad exploitative and has vibes that reminded me of VHS-era revenge movies. 

 

 

The film’s editing is another problem. Despite its 90-minute runtime and the good pacing of the plot, there are many lingering shots of people walking around in the darkness. These scenes are supposed to build tension, but end up feeling tedious. The right music could have solved the problem, but it’s not there. 

 

Even though all the actors do a great job of portraying their characters vividly, it seems like the themes that the film explores aren’t fleshed out, and that can lessen the impact of a movie with this subject matter.

 

A Silent Party is close to being a good film, but doesn’t quite get there and ends up as forgettable.

 

Author Bio:

Ulises Duenas is a senior writer at Highbrow Magazine.

 

For Highbrow Magazine

 

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