Well, this film breaks the streak of real-life couples having no chemistry on-screen. Take that, Ben Afleck and Jennifer Lopez.
‘A Quiet Place’ is the first and hopefully last collaboration between real-life couple John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, and it definitely has a lot of people talking. But perhaps whispering would be better.
After a near-apocalyptic event, praying mantis-like aliens with acute hearing and ferocious, tenacious killer instincts have taken over and have halted civilization as we know it. Starting with the Abbott family a few months after the aliens’ initial attack, husband and wife Lee (John Krasinski) and Evelyn (Emily Blunt) struggle to protect their children and live in essentially silence in upstate New York.
Their son Marcus (Noah Jupe) has some troubles with having to cope with their new surrounds and situations, young Beau (Cade Woodward) is even more resistant — much to his detriment — but at the center of it all is Regan (Millicent Simmonds), their sole daughter who also happens to be hearing impaired. She wears a faulty hearing aid and has to be even more careful to not make a sound. The family — even with some creative methods of staying quiet — is far from safe from the aliens, and throughout the film, they encounter more than their fair share of problems, including trying to keep quiet during the birth of Evelyn’s fourth child.
While not the most original concept, its execution takes it more than a country mile ahead of its contemporaries and peers. The ways the family prevent themselves from making a sound is intriguing and truly feels authentic in a realistic setting. Sign language on screen has never felt so meaningful in every gesture.
More so, the few lines of dialogue that do appear in the film may not be the most linguistic and Shakespearean, but every word pulls at your heartstrings and surges with raw emotion.
On top of that, the sound design throughout is superb. Slight cracks, creaks, footsteps and even so far as the wind whistling through blinds is chilling and piques your attention. As of course with the premise of louder noises provoking the alien beasts, every audio peak leaves you at the edge of your seat, and the psychological aspect of louder and softer sounds to confuse the aliens is always interesting to see executed in climatic scenes.
Having first directed for television — including a few episodes of the American “Office” — John Krasinski does a fantastic job with his feature film directorial debut. There are some truly spectacular shots, with credit to cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen, who with Krasinski utilizes the unique visualization of sign language in film to carry a story.
The film also benefits from having honest-to-God, capable child actors. Having an actress who is actually deaf does add authenticity to character, and you can tell the cast prepared and practiced sign language to make the dialogue look realistic.
Overall, ‘A Quiet Place’ proves you don’t have to scream to be the loudest in the room. And that oftentimes it’s the simplest of stories that evoke the most complex and thoughtprovoking feelings. The scares can barely hold a candle to the excellently executed yet universally understandable plots of family and sacrifice.
I can highly recommend giving this a watch. Perhaps by yourself if you want to be completely terrified, as in a packed theatre you will hear every single candy unwrapping and popcorn munching until you feel like getting up and screaming yourself.
Photo Courtesy: Paramount Pictures