The Bay of Silence has a plot and reveal so weak it would not qualify for a below-average episode of Law & Order.
The real enigma behind this morose mystery, The Bay of Silence, is how the script made it from page to screen. The plot is essentially two different films smashed together, like puzzle pieces that barely fit, with a reveal so weak it wouldn’t qualify for an episode of Law & Order. It’s an utter yawn that makes you wonder what type of bet the great Brian Cox lost to take part in it.
The film’s protagonist is Will (The Burnt Orange Heresy’s Claes Bang) who helplessly watches his wife, Rosalind (Oblivion‘s Olga Kurylenko) fall from a one-story balcony. She is pregnant and has their son prematurely. This seemingly causes a domino effect of issues for the family. She is suffering from postpartum depression and has become despondent one minute, wildly erratic the next. She then leaves, taking her two daughters and Will’s infant son with her. His father-in-law, Milton (Cox), tells him not to worry, she will come back when she’s ready. Will doesn’t listen and tracks her back to her childhood home. There, he finds his infant son dead and his wife hiding in an attic of a run-down house looking over a bay (the silent one, remember).
The script from veteran actress Caroline Goodall (Survive, Hook) is adapted from a novel from Lisa St Aubin de Terán of the same name. Simply, it’s a convoluted mess that has a harder time connecting the plot than a simple game of Dots and Boxes. The film is basically two different movie ideas that try to clumsily stitch together. The characters are thinly veiled. Their motivations are half-witted at best. Finally, the reveal of the dead infant seems to be an implausible McGuffin whose only purpose is to connect two different stories that don’t work together. That narrative fact is so poorly communicated to the audience, most have walked away wondering what the point of that was at all; it really has nothing to do with Rosalind’s past.
Bang has found himself in some overtly dark films of late that have a nasty habit of being almost mind-numbingly boring. His turn earlier this year in the frustratingly dull The Bright Orange Heresy seems vibrant in comparison. It’s almost shocking how inept The Bay of Silence is; especially when you consider it came from Zus & Zo director Paula van der Oest. This is one the most misguided #MeToo movement thrillers made this decade. Bay is a Lifetime movie with twists you can watch for free weekly every Saturday night without the charm. Toss this film back into the bay from where it came from.
M.N. Miller has been a film and television writer for Ready Steady Cut since August of 2018 and is patiently waiting for the next Pearl Jam album to come out.