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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Silence aka Das letzte Schweigen [Blu-ray]


(Baran bo Odar, 2010)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Lüthje & Schneider Filmproduktion

Video: Music Box Films



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:58:30.895

Disc Size: 40,869,382,927 bytes

Feature Size: 24,076,903,104 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.83 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July 23rd, 2013



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio German 1936 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1936 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 1624 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1624 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)



English (SDH), none



• Cast Interviews with  Wotan Wilke Möhring, Katrin Sass, Sebastian Blomberg, Burghart Klaußner (10:28)

Under the Sun (2006) - a film by Baran bo Odar (58:36)

Quietsch (2005) - a film by Baran bo Odar (7:49)

Trailer (1:35)





Description: The Silence begins on a hot summer day, when a girl named Pia is brutally murdered in a field of wheat by Peer (Ulrich Thomsen), as his helpless friend Timo (Wotan Wilke Moehring) watches. Exactly 23 years later, another 13-year-old, Sinikka, is missing, her bicycle abandoned in the same spot, leading police to suspect the same killer may be at work again. Recently widowed detective David and his colleague Janna struggle to solve the mystery of these parallel crimes with the help of Krischan, the retired investigator of the unresolved case.

While Sinikka’s distraught parents are trapped in an agonizing period of waiting and uncertainty, their daughter’s fate rips open unhealed wounds in the heart of Pia’s mother and sends Timo in search of Peer and their own old desires.

In his strikingly commanding debut feature, Swiss-born Baran bo Odar adapts Jan Costin Wagner’s novel with his own unmistakable signature. Gripping performances by top European actors - headed by Ulrich Thomsen (In a Better World, The Celebration), Sebastian Blomberg (The Baader Meinhof Complex), Katrin Sass (Good Bye, Lenin!) and Burghart Klaussner (The White Ribbon) - enrich this intense drama far beyond the crime genre.



The Film:

When the bicycle 13-year-old Sinikka is discovered in the exact same wheat field where a heinous murder/rape took place 23 years prior, retired police detective Krischan senses that the two crimes are connected, and vows to bring the killer to justice. The fact that Krischan was unable to catch the killer two decades prior still haunts him to this very day, but perhaps with the help of ambitious young officer David, this time he will find a way to bring closure to the case. Later, as the investigation begins and a sweltering summer heat wave washes over the town, the young victim's parents begin to experience an overwhelming sense of dread concerning a clean cut husband and father who had recently visited their home.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

The performances are excellent, particularly Klaussner and Blomberg as two detectives whose obsessive involvements with the case are driven by different but equally compelling reasons, Mittich because he's haunted by his failure to solve the original case and Jahn because he's pouring everything he has into the case in order to escape his own recent grief. Similarly, Thomsen and Mohring are superb as the two men bonded together by their horrific secret and the script, intriguingly, makes us pity them rather than fear them (though Thomsen's character becomes increasingly chilling).

Excerpt from Matthew Turner of ViewLondon located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Silence looks quite strong on Blu-ray from Music Box Films.  It's not perfect but it is quite close. The image is bright, clean - not a lot of depth and a touch of a few minor artifacts. Detail is crisp and the natural, outdoor colors (and cinematography) and impressive.  I like the use of the 2.35:1 framing. Skin tones seem true and contrast adept. There are a lot of daylight scenes and those visuals are quite pleasing. This is 1080P and the disc is dual-layered but the expressive HD extras leave the film with a modest bitrate. I suspect it would have advanced with a more robust rendering but I don't suppose we'll ever know. This Blu-ray gave me good, if not quite stellar presentation. Only those projecting on a very large screen would notice the inconsequential inferiorities. Most will appreciate the transfer.

















Audio :

Option of DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 1936 kbps or a similarly lossless 2.0 channel (both in original German). Plenty of silent, haunting, pauses in the film and not many separations or effects - certainly few aggressive ones. There is a subtle score by first time composers Kris Steininger + Michael Kamm and it works very well alongside the dynamics of the film's style. No demonstrative depth but it seems a very accurate transfer of the films sound. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Music Box Films add quite a lot of supplements. There are ten minutes worth of cast Interviews with Wotan Wilke Möhring, Katrin Sass, Sebastian Blomberg and Burghart Klaußner (all in German with English subtitles.) We get two other Baran bo Odar films - Under the Sun (Unter der Sonne) - from 2006 - a pretty keen effort running almost an hour. Quietsch is a short (8-minutes) from 2005 - a little like a chamber piece. There is also a trailer. A lot of value here for the extras!




The Silence is a very well made, subdued and - at times - uncomfortable, thriller. The emotional cues are subtle and more impacting. The topic was somewhat disturbing but it is handled in a kind of emotionless, or matter-of-fact, manner by Odar. I was very impressed and look forward to more from this director. The Blu-ray offers solid adept a/v and plenty of worthy extras. We strongly recommend this to fans of world cinema - I doubt you will be disappointed! 

Gary Tooze

July 19th, 2013

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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