The Price for Silence is mainly the story of Kira (Lynn Mancinelli), a thirty-something reckless woman still suffering from severe post-traumatic symptoms after being assaulted by a friend as a teenager. Despite getting some help from a “very shady” psychiatrist, Kira still has vivid terrorizing nightmares and is unable to heal as she is also carrying a weighty secret. So she takes refuge in alcoholism and debaucheries of all kinds being stuck in a vicious circle.
When Kira learns that her dad passed away, she has no choice but to go back home where she painfully confronts her past and her family.
She nervously arrives home and is welcomed by her lively, flamboyant, and caring brother Lucas (Emrhys Cooper), who appears to be her only friend, and her mother Sheila (Kristin Carey), a seemingly cold and depressed woman who disapproved of her daughter’s behavior and lifestyle.
While preparing for the various funeral arrangements, Kyra finds brief moments of happiness reuniting with her brother or bonding with her grieving mother, but being in an environment that always reminds her of her traumas, and having to face demons from her past on a daily basis, make things spiral out of control.
“…this dark secret that might sadly sully the memory of her dad and eventually bring down the most wealthy man in town...”
Kyra has no choice but to let her family (and everybody else) know about this dark secret that might sadly sully the memory of her dad and eventually bring down the most wealthy man in town, Richard Davenport (Richard Thomas).
The whole movie is a succession of ups and downs as we see our protagonist going through an emotional roller-coaster of painful torments, pure joy, paralyzing doubts and thirst for justice or revenge.
On the surface, and up until the second act, The Price for Silence wants to tell this very timely, raw and grim story of a woman journey into darkness in an “edgy” manner. As it gradually adds too many unnecessary layers or subplots, force-feeding us histrionic clichéd characters and situations in the process, it quickly turns into an overcooked melodrama.
That said, the acting was decent and the lead actress, Lynn Mancinelli — who at the time resembled a Jodie Foster mimicking the acting style of a Theron in a Diablo Cody movie — does a great job at portraying this troubled woman.
“…resembled a Jodie Foster mimicking the acting style of a Theron in a Diablo Cody movie…”
Some scenes were also commendable for showing the great chemistry between the actors playing siblings, but they overstayed their welcome adding to the dragging film already unequal spacing between stylized fast edited scenes and extraneous distracting cutaway scenes appearing out of nowhere.
Also, for a movie made during the #metoo era, it somehow completely missed the point with its tedious portrayal of assault victims, and it might, likewise, infuriate some viewers with a gratuitous “reverse revenge rape scene” or what could potentially be seen as an overbearing male gaze during cringe-worthy scenes.
The Price for Silence might have sprouted from a genuine desire to add something authentic to the current discourse. As it desperately tries to tackle heavy subjects such as rape/survivor story, drug or alcohol abuse, mental illness, dysfunctional family, small-town corruption and “art,” it ultimately felt like they mixed all their paints into one weird brown nobody really asked for, giving the film the gravitas and texture of a daytime soap opera.
The Price for Silence (2018) Written and directed by Tony Germinario. Starring Lynn Mancinelli, Emrhys Cooper, Kristin Carey, Jon McCormick, Richard Thomas, and Armin Amiri.