The Bay of Silence

Movie review by
Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media
The Bay of Silence Movie Poster Image
Tense psychological drama has adult themes.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 93 minutes

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Themes include standing by the people you love and the importance of protecting children. Perseverance -- in the shape of pursuing the truth and bringing people to justice -- is also a strong message. Lies and cover-ups are also prominent.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Will is seen to be understanding and willing to do anything to protect his wife and family. Milton uses his connections to cover up wrongdoings, suggesting money and power can make people untouchable.

Violence

Character is shot in the shoulder, and a dead body shown with a bullet wound to the head. Someone is pushed down the stairs. Drowning is mentioned and implied. A pregnant woman falls from a balcony and there are scenes in an emergency room. A baby dies of an unspecified illness and is then buried in a shallow grave. Reference to postnatal depression and schizophrenia, and a character is seen in great psychological distress. Characters are shaken and punched. A car accident is alluded to. Implication of child abuse. Rape is mentioned and disturbing images of a young child are shown on screen.

Sex

Sex is portrayed and there is full-frontal nudity. Kissing and caressing is shown in bed and in the ocean. There is a comparison between mussels and vaginas during a meal.

Language

Occasional use of "f--k" and "f--king." Also "bloody hell" and "goddamn."

Consumerism

One character is wealthy and his money is intrinsically connected to power.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink wine with dinner and champagne at a celebration. Prescription pills are taken for mental health issues. A sedative is administered against a character's will.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Bay of Silence is a tense psychological thriller which deals with adult themes including mental health issues, rape, child abuse, and the loss of a baby. The movie is based on a book of the same name and stars Claes Bang as Will and Olga Kurylenko as his wife, Rosalind, whose seemingly perfect life begins to unravel following an accident. There are moments of peril and characters are injured and killed. A dead baby is seen on screen after dying from an unspecified illness and is then buried in a shallow grave. Another character is seen with a bullet hole in their head. Characters are also punched and someone is pushed down the stairs. An accident involves a pregnant woman falling from a first floor balcony -- both mother and baby survive. Occasional strong language includes "f--k" and "f--king," as well as "goddamn." Characters consume wine and champagne, as well as prescription pills. Scenes are gritty and realistic and the atmosphere often eerie and disturbing, which makes the movie unsuitable for young children.

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What's the story?

In THE BAY OF SILENCE, Will (Claes Bang) and his wife, Rosalind (Olga Kurylenko), have just moved to a new house, when an accident leads Rosalind to take their children and run. As Will follows the clues left behind to track down his wife, a series of revelations unfold that make him question her sanity, and the integrity of those around her, as one crime leads to another. Will is forced to reassess everything he knows, making difficult choices that could mean the difference between life and death.

Is it any good?

A strong cast adds gravitas to this intense thriller, where nothing is quite as it seems, yet neither is it entirely unpredictable. Bang and Kurylenko have a natural chemistry as husband and wife, even as their relationship unravels and her behavior becomes erratic. Brian Cox as Rosalind's stepfather is the picture of upper-crust arrogance -- all fine art and pomp, with a brooding menace barely contained beneath the surface.

Adapted from a novel of the same name, The Bay of Silence moves at a solid pace with the pieces of the puzzle fitting together naturally. Each new revelation is set up with precision and care, if without much flourish. As the plot moves from location to location, the stunning settings are rich with a sense of place, from the detached London streets to the romantic, sun-drenched Italian coast, and the billowing ghostliness of a small Normandy fishing village. Interiors are beautifully lit and filled with a mystery and intrigue to match this carefully crafted thriller that offers a solid entry into the genre without reinventing the wheel.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way in which mental health is discussed and represented in The Bay of Silence. Do you think it's a realistic portrayal? Why is it important to portray mental health issues sensitively on screen? 

  • What are the main turning points in Will’s journey that lead him to the final revelation? Will shows a dogged perseverance in uncovering the truth. When have you had to show perseverance in achieving something?

  • The movie deals with tough subject matters such as the death of a baby. How well do you think it handled these topics?

  • What makes this film thrilling? What is the appeal of thriller movies? Do you have a favorite film from this genre?

Movie details

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