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Parents' Guide to

The Silent Twins

By Monique Jones, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Biopic doesn't go deep enough; sex, violence, swearing.

Movie R 2022 113 minutes
The Silent Twins Movie Poster

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The Silent Twins uses unique storytelling choices to tell the story of the Gibbons twins, who created an insular world for themselves to live in as an escape from the outside world. But their bizarre, fascinating story could have been handled much more deftly, and that's frustrating. The film's focus on the twins' fantasy world and their imaginations, which they eventually channeled into novel-writing, could have made for a great, emotionally resonant film (doubly so, since the twins were bullied for being from an immigrant family from Barbados). But for all of the film's focus on the twins' rich inner life, there's never a full exploration of their individual feelings, motivations, and goals.

Overall, The Silent Twins' success, such that it is, rests entirely on Wright and Lawrance, who give the characters a depth beyond what exists in the script. Indeed, in terms of just writing, the film treats June and Jennifer as static objects, building blocks for much more interesting film ideas and techniques. That's unfair to the Gibbons' fascinating story. And while the twins' "romantic" situations are important to them as a means of acquiring life experiences, the scenarios not only feel predatory and skeevy but also strangely focused on the White gaze. Perhaps that's to make a point: that the Gibbons family was racially and culturally isolated. So perhaps the point is that Jennifer and June were trying to find acceptance through romance? Maybe. But was that plot point necessary? Probably not, especially since viewers don't really know the purpose for it. At the end of the day, The Silent Twins is interesting and boasts amazing performances, but the threadbare storyline does the Gibbons twins a disservice.

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