By: Cody Englannder, Contributor
(Focus Features, 2022)
Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrence star in The Silent Twins , a true story of twins who are the only ones who understand one other. The film occurs in three different eras of their lives; childhood, adolescence, and their time in a psychiatric hospital as adults. It’s based on a book of the same name written by Marjorie Wallace.
This movie brings up an idea that Hollywood has been struggling with for years. Not every movie needs to be an adaptation of a real story or book, and this happens to be both. The subject matter is extremely interesting, even incorporating some brief real-life footage. But does it warrant a nearly two hour feature? No.
The stylistic decisions are interesting enough, with some trippy sequences that occur in the twins’ heads, and some interesting lighting choices. But this is not enough of a driving force to keep me invested. The movie doesn’t really have anything to keep the audience engaged until about 45 minutes in, when it admittedly does get better. But at this point, the damage is already done; having to wait 45 minutes to get to the better part of the film is not worth it.
Even though I spent two hours with these characters, I can’t say I understand them, because the movie does little to really dive deep into who these people really are. It feels as if they lack motivation throughout the runtime of the film. The movie is really excited to show off the acting skills of the two leads, and they are good performances, but they aren’t three dimensional because the script holds them back.
The script is the number one force working against this movie. It takes the “show, don’t tell rule” to a new level, by not cluing the audience in on many key elements. It really helps to already know about these twins because this movie excludes information I am more than confident the book covers.
Lastly, the theater experience has failed this movie. It could have been more successful on a streaming service as a nice movie to have on as background noise, bring it up to a friend, and never think about it again. This could have had a tight 90 minute script, but instead struggles to find focus in this bloated, difficult-to-watch two hours.