I haven’t seen that many films by Spanish director José Luis Cuerda, and therefore not best placed to offer any useful criticism of his work. But I can safely claim that his latest film “Todo es silencio” [Eng. Title: All is Silence], is nowhere as accomplished as the only other film of his that I’ve seen to date (El bosque animado).
Set in a Galician seaside town, it is a crime drama whose timeline is made of two distinct parts placed twenty years apart. In 1969, childhood friends Fins, Brinco, and Leda discover that their idyllic town is riddled with crime after stumbling upon a hidden cache of smuggled goods belonging to local kingpin Mariscal (Juan Diego). Fins and Leda kinda love each other but Fins leaves town after his fisherman-father dies in an accident. Twenty years on, he returns to his native town not as much to connect with his roots, but to investigate the crime ring run by the very same Mariscal, who by now has progressed into arms and drug trafficking. Things have changed among his friends too – Fins (Quim Gutiérrez), now working for the Spanish equivalent of the FBI, finds himself confronted with the fact that his childhood friends Brinco (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) and Leda (Celia Freijeiro) are now not only married to each other, but also on the payroll of Mariscal. The rest of the film is essentially about Fins trying to come to terms with ground realities, and hoping to bring Mariscal to book.
I’ll keep the critical review brief because there are hardly any positives to write about this film. Its screenplay is mediocre, and the characterisation not only lacks depth but is replete with clichés to the extent that I even half expected the villain (Mariscal) to break into an evil laugh any time. They invariably affect other aspects of the film, and instead of the promised firecracker of a drama, we end up gazing at a silent dud..!
The Nudity: Paula Semikozova, Rubén Prieto, Celia Freijeiro, and Andrea Mulhova
Brief nude scenes include one where children watch a nudist couple by the beach. There is an unintended flash from lead actress Celia Freijeiro who plays Leda, and more female nudity when Brinco takes a prostitute to bed.