Young FBI cadette, Clarice Starling, is assigned to help find a missing woman and save her from a psychopathic serial killer (Buffalo Bill) who skins his victims. Clarice attempts to gain a better insight into the twisted mind of the killer by talking to another psychopath, Hannibal Lecter, who used to be a respected psychiatrist. FBI agent Jack Crawford believes that Lecter, who is also a very powerful and clever mind manipulator, has the answers to their questions to help locate the killer. Clarice must first try and gain Lecter’s confidence before he is to give away any information. (IMDB)
This is one of the best psychological thrillers of all time and will remain so for a long time. The story is very complicated with plenty of twists and turns which will keep even the most sophisticated movie viewers intrigued. Psychology and puzzles fill the story from start to finish. The workings of serial killer’s mind are thoroughly explored. Great stuff!
There’s not much else to say about the story without spoiling the film.
The atmosphere is rich with several different settings so we get to visit a great number of places. It never grows stale and it forces you to constantly re-evaluate what you’re being shown. Maybe it’s just me but the constant change of settings seem to reflect the many pieces of info given to Starling by Lecter in which she needs to keep re-evaluating the case and all of the pieces of the puzzle.
There’s also a constant sense of urgency to find and hopefully rescue Buffalo Bill’s latest victim, daughter of a politician. The clock is ticking away but can Buffalo Bill be stopped in time when no one has a clue of his identity??
The cast is just fantastic. Tons of superb actors. Anthony Hopkins, as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, is the star of this film. His every spoken word, every sound, every gesture is truly terrifying! He perfected the role of an intellectually-gifted psychopathic serial killer. His character of Lector is insane yet acts so much like a gentleman that it’s difficult to believe he’s insane. Hopkins cemented his career as one of the best actors of this or any period of acting.
Ted Levine, as Buffalo Bill, is also a great serial killer of another type than Lector – the cross-dressing type that wears skin! Shades of Ed Gein! He plays it more insanely and foul-mouthed, definitely different to Lector’s suave manners.
Jodie Foster, as Clarice Starling, is the perfect antithesis to Lector’s evil side. I didn’t like her “southern” accent here but other than that, she gave her usual stellar performance. Jodie fought for the part and I’m glad she got it! A female heroine was quite rare when this was produced and she is my ideal image for this part.
Scott Glenn as, Agent Jack Crawford, is up to his usual best!
Overall, this is a MUST see for all fans of horror, thrillers, investigative stories, or serial killers. A definite must see!! The acting can’t get any better! Great layered story. I cannot praise it enough!
Catch the cameo by Roger Cormen as the head of the FBI!