This week’s review is about the 2020 indie crime film ‘Voice of Silence’. The movie had been on my to-watch list ever since I saw the trailer, but because of its recent winning spree during the 57th Baeksang Arts Awards, I figured it was time to finally bite the bullet and just sit down and watch it.
‘Voice of Silence’ is a film about a duo of ‘cleaners’. Two men; Tae-in and Chang-bok work for a crime ring as the clean-up. They take care of the dead bodies, burying them in the forest and providing a place where they can beat people up if necessary.
They get asked by the current crime boss to take care of a target for a couple of days. Hesitantly they agree. However, it turns out that the target is an 11 year old girl. The crime boss becomes the next person they have to ‘clean up’ when he gets replaced by a different leader. He doesn’t want to get involved with the girl so the duo doesn’t know what to do with her.
Tae-in is a mute person, who is unable to speak. He relies a lot on Chang-bok, a rather religious person who thinks Tae-in can be cured by listening to a tape with prayers on it.
Yoo Ah-in who you might know from ‘Secret Affair’ portrays Tae-in and he does an excellent job despite having no lines. His character is rather interesting. He struggles and is the sole provider for his younger sister. He’s clearly having a rough time looking after her.
His home is where they hide the 11 year old Cho-hee (Moon Seung-ah). The two girls bond and Tae-in and his sister see what life could be like with some guidance from Cho-hee. She’s surprisingly agile and adapts quickly to her new situation. She’s really clever.
Chang-bok played by Yoo Jae-myung who you might know from ‘Stranger‘ is an interesting character however I do feel like he could have been fleshed out a bit more. We know hardly nothing about his circumstances and how he ended up where he did. How does one even become a ‘cleaner’ for a crime ring?
I did very much like the dynamics between Tae-in and Cho-hee who felt surprisingly old for her age. I do wonder about her home circumstances since her father was negotiating about the ransom.
The film written and directed by Hong Eui-jeong was a really lovely watch. It balances comedy, crime and moments of fragile sensitivity in a great way. It kind of feels like a new genre; family crime. I do have to mention that I’m not exactly a fan of the ending.
‘Voice of Silence’ won Hong Eui-jeong the Best Director award at the Baeksangs. She also won Best New Director at the 41st Blue Dragon Film Awards. Yoo Ah-in won Best Actor at the Baeksangs and Best Leading Actor at the Blue Dragon Film Awards.
If you like crime movies at all, I would definitely recommend watching ‘Voice of Silence’. The acting is fabulous, the story itself is great and the cinematography was incredibly beautiful.
Here’s the trailer.