Sistas without (outside) voices: Smoczynska revisits case study of antisocial twins
from Poland Agnieszka Smoczynska makes its debut in the English language with third feature the silent twins, based on British journalist Marjorie Wallace’s 1986 exposure in June and Jennifer Gibbons, identical Welsh twins whose dysfunctional development led to a crime spree and eventual indefinite incarceration. In a tale where weirdness plays a key role in the lack of understanding, as the Gibbons family was descended from the West Indies, Smoczynska doesn’t seem entirely unsuitable as a figure removed from both cultures.
Based on her two previous films, there are similarities that intersect, like the fantastical mermaid sisters from her celebrated debut. the bait (2015) and a woman suffering from memory loss struggling to accept the family that got her back in 2018 escape (read review). However, like Wallace’s text, which takes the liberty of creating a third-person consciousness for the sisters from childhood, Smoczynska’s whimsical but overly polite fantastical elements, intended to enliven their inwardness, tend to create estrangement from the sisters. subjects. Paired with Andrea Siegel’s script, which is either sober or somber, it’s a dark subject despite production design attempts.
June and Jennifer Gibbons were the second youngest child of Gloria and Audrey Gibbons who moved from Barbados to Wales in the 1960s, their father was in the RAF and worked as an air traffic controller. The only black family in the community, they kept to themselves, which may be part of why the twins quickly developed their own secret language with one another as children, refusing to speak or make eye contact with anyone else, including parents and siblings. At eleven years old, his secret world poses a problem for the school’s administrators, and a therapist (Michael Smiley) is brought in to help him. As the girls still do not respond, they are briefly separated, but this makes matters worse for both of them. Finishing high school (now played by Letitia Wight and Tamara Lawrence), the duo continues their secret world in their childhood bedroom, obsessed with becoming a published author. After several rejections of their short stories, they decide to experiment with romance as a way to generate passion in their writing. They soon become obsessed with a local young man who introduces them to sex and drugs, but when his family moves out, their devastation spirals out of control and results in a crime spree that lasts for several weeks, in which petty theft, vandalism and arson. criminal ends with indefinite incarceration at Broadmoor Hospital. The women spend eleven years languishing in the hospital until journalist Marjorie Wallace (Jodhi May) takes an intense interest in their rehabilitation and release.
Every now and then, June and Jennifer’s unique personalities pop, mostly thanks to the performances of Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrence. But since they serve as each other’s captors and saviors in a highly dysfunctional symbiotic attachment, the film’s approach approaches them demurely.
While the stop motion figures depicting one of his obsessive imaginative childhood periods add visual flair, they are like the sweet spots in a dry dough and often resemble something Peter Jackson did with the murderous lesbian teenagers in New York. Celestial Creatures (1994), also based on a true story. for what you do the silent twins so interesting is the identity crisis that has been allowed to reach a point of psychological no return thanks to a host culture very ill-equipped to understand them and a native culture that sees twins as excusably weird. Smoczynska’s version doesn’t work with Wallace’s intentions of how the criminal justice system and an archaic healthcare protocol were the twin institutions sealing his fate. Instead, Jodhi May only appears as Wallace herself at the end, mainly to provide interjections and wring her hands. Some of the film’s liberties feel strange, as in real life the young women were forced to undergo speech impediment surgery as a possible remedy for their behavior, while here the actors are forced to inhabit a specific, unexplained speech pattern. directly.
The visual palette in her childhood years is a cloying world of green, with DP Jakub Kijowski (who has photographed Smoczynska’s last two films) at times channeling the toxic vibe of the sick comedy caricatures in Oliver Stone’s film. born killers (1994). Those who respond well to Smoczynska’s animated textures will likely find this more of a novel experience, though at times it detracts, such as viewing a sequel to the June-published novel The Pepsi Cola Addict, in which its tortured protagonist drowns in a swimming pool. of the titular soda, furthering a silliness suggested by the title.
The twins’ incredible imagination is really the most fascinating element, having a creative ability reminiscent of the isolated Bronte sisters. Smoczynska’s selection of soundtracks is also compelling, using tracks by T. Rex and Soft Cell to create a mood, and even Christmas tunes by Boney M. Ultimately, the film’s most compelling elements are downplayed or even overshadowed. by visual accents, and the silent twins eventually looks like any number of melodramas from the psych ward subgenre.
Revised May 24 at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival – Un Certain Regard. 112 minutes
Source : www.ioncinema.com