Thursday, May 6, 2010

The End of Silence (2006)

Few films deal with the difficulties and uncertainties inherent in immigration. Anita Doron's The End of Silence is one of those films that promise a lot with their premise. However, it turns out to be clumsily developed film and a dull one.

In The End of Silence, world-class ballerina Ekaterina Chtchelkanova plays Darya, a Russian immigrant. In her native Russia, Darya was a ballerina working for a prestigious company. However, she decided to immigrate to Canada (precisely in Toronto). Once there, Darya finds it hard to adapt herself, because she barely speaks English.

However, she'll come across Eddie (John Tokatlidis), an antique store owner. This is the moment when, as the film's title suggests, both of them fall in love. Besides, Eddie also helps Darya to learn English by buying for her a Russian-English dictionary and by helping her to practice her English. Even though Eddie no longer lives with his ex-wife, Nora (Sarah Harmer), they still see each other. As a result of that, Nora and Darya become friends.

Because of its subject matter, The End of Silence raises our expectations. With an undeniable skill to frame the leading characters, Doron's lens cutely capture the scenes between Dorya and Eddie without being corny. While the film shows Dorya trying to put an end to her silence by learning English, it also makes up cling to the hope that her life in Canada is headed in the right direction. At the same time, it shows how much Eddie is willing to help her.

However, any praises for the film stop right there. In fact, by showing scenes in which Dorya either can't express her thoughts in English for want of better words or does an effort, Doron intentionally wanted to depict a foreigner who tries to feel at home in Canada. Unfortunately, by going down this road, The End of Silence becomes nothing but a collage of sequences because of its dearth of dialogues. This is why one might have the wrong impression that Darya came to Canada without any goal in her mind.

In short, one might have the feeling that the story keeps us away at an arm's length. Nevertheless, The End of Silence is not entirely a bad film, because its three leading actors' performance make us care about the characters. As a matter of fact, Ekaterina Chtchelkanova brings a lot of charisma to Darya in a way that very few famous stars would have been able to do.

Rating: 2.5/5

Origin:Canada (2006)
Length:94 minutes
Genre:Drama
Screenplay:Anita Doron
Director:Anita Doron
Starring:Ekaterina Chtchelkanova, John Tokatlidis and Sarah Harmer

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