Movie review: Deafening Silence explores the struggles and abuses the female gender faces

Movie review Deafening Silence

Deafening Silence, produced by Emem Isong and directed by Biodun Stephen, is a compelling drama that delves into the often-overlooked issue of gender-based violence. The film is backed by the Spotlight Initiative in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the European Union (EU), adding a layer of authenticity and urgency to its narrative. With a stellar cast including Toni Tones, Kate Henshaw, Daniel Etim-Effiong, Chidi Mokeme, Bimbo Akintola, and Femi Jacobs, the film promises a powerful viewing experience.

In the movie, Jane Douglas, portrayed by Toni Tones, bags six months of compulsory community service sentence at the Coalition Against Gender-Based Abuse (COAGBA), which sparked her activist spirit. This was after she decided to intervene in a harrowing incident involving a little girl and her abusive mother. While serving her sentence, Jane soon became passionate about helping women through challenges that left them as victims.

As Jane immerses herself in community service, she is initially met with resistance, particularly from Mrs. Comfort Ajibade, played by the formidable Kate Henshaw. Mrs. Ajibade is a staunch and passionate advocate for victims of gender-based violence, and her initial disdain for Jane reflects the tension between them. Henshaw’s portrayal is nothing short of brilliant, as she brings depth and intensity to her character that is both captivating and inspiring. Her performance stands out, providing a nuanced depiction of a woman fiercely dedicated to her cause.

Contrastingly, Toni Tones’ interpretation of Jane Douglas falls somewhat flat. Her portrayal tends to echo her previous roles, lacking the emotional complexity that the character’s journey demands. This rigid performance is a slight letdown in an otherwise strong ensemble cast. Nonetheless, Jane’s evolution from a bystander to a committed advocate is a central theme of the film, and Tones manages to convey this transition effectively, if not exceptionally.

The supporting cast, including Chidi Mokeme, Bimbo Akintola, Daniel Etim-Effiong, and Femi Jacobs, deliver solid performances that enhance the film’s overall impact. Each actor brings their unique flair to their roles, adding layers to the story and creating a believable world where the characters’ struggles and triumphs resonate with the audience.

Director Biodun Stephen skillfully navigates the sensitive subject matter, striking a balance between raising awareness and providing an engaging narrative. The film’s pacing ensures the audience remains invested in Jane’s journey. At the same time, the script, though occasionally heavy-handed, underscores the importance of community and advocacy in combating gender-based violence.

Deafening Silence is more than just a film; it is a call to action. It sheds light on the pervasive issue of gender-based violence and the vital role of community support in addressing it. The collaboration with organizations like the UNDP and the EU lends credibility to its message, making it a poignant reminder of the work that still needs to be done in this arena.

In conclusion, Deafening Silence, currently in cinema, is a thought-provoking film that, despite some flaws in its execution, delivers a powerful message of hope and resilience. With strong performances, particularly from Kate Henshaw, and a narrative that champions advocacy and support, the film earns a solid 6/10. It is a commendable effort that encourages viewers to reflect on the importance of standing up against injustice and supporting those in need.

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