The time it takes to produce a film will always be at odds with the pace of life. It can take years to get a film into cinemas, and as a result, sometimes they don’t quite hit the mark.
Director Tony Germinario (“Bad Frank”, “Death’s Door [Short]”) must have been sure he was creating an important film when he co-wrote The Price for Silence – a dark and layered drama about rape, drug addiction and bereavement.
But watching it now, in 2019, its well meaning message sounds more like an outdated slur. In the post-screening Q&A, actor Emrhys Cooper mentioned that the film “came before Harvey Weinstein”. Of course what he means is that it came before the #metoo movement.
Which is unfortunate, because at least two individual performances make it a worthy watch. But it’s the film’s theme that causes it problems. Watching the latter half is like looking at a high five left dangling in the air.
The story’s mostly centred around Kira Flynn, Lynn Mancinelli (“Bad Frank”, “Broken Side Of Time”), who co-wrote the film with Germinario – a damaged young woman who drinks, curses and screws her way through her unemployed life. She was abused by a friend when she was 15 and it continues to haunt her. She sees a psychiatrist, but he seems to be a part of the problem, not a solution to it.
When her dad dies, she’s forced to return home to her family and confront everything she ran from: her ex, her old friends, her abuser Aiden Davenport, Jon McCormick (“Blue Bloods (TV)”, “M (TV)”) and worst of all, his influential father Richard Davenport (played by Richard Thomas of the Waltons).
She’s estranged from her mother, Kristin Carey (“Hall Pass”, “Bones (TV)”), but has a twin-like closeness with her brother Lucas, Emrhys Cooper (“Trophy Boy [Short]“. “Kushuthara: Pattern Of Love“), who still lives at home with their mum.
We soon find out that Lucas has issues of his own, but really this is a story about Kira. A girl that’s been let down by the people around her for most of her life.
She’s uninterested in meaningful relationships with her fleeting lovers, scantily clad and has a tribal tattoo on the back of her neck. Only, she isn’t really the tearaway she, or Germinario, want us to believe she is. Jessie Buckley showed us what a troubled woman looks like in her recent film Beast. Mancinelli’s is good, but she’s more irritating than she is defiling.
Most of the time the film feels like a post-watershed soap opera. Lucas, Kira’s brother, looks like he’s been plucked from the line of hopefuls outside a Pop Idol audition, while the younger of the Davenport’s is every bit the fuckboy from a certain county north-east of London.
Mix in the frequent sex scenes – with an unbalanced level of nudity – and you’ve got yourself a gritty TV show, but a pretty toothless film that does very little for its cause.