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Friday, June 21, 2024

John Woo returns with a gritty revenge tale of a tormented father in Silent Night


Acclaimed action director John Woo returns with a gritty revenge tale of a tormented father in Silent Night, now streaming on Lionsgate Play. Full of Woo’s signature “bullet ballet” style, the movie redefines the action genre with visceral, thrill-a-minute storytelling sans dialogues. 

Silent Night is a quiet tale that unfolds from tragedy: on the night before Christmas, a young boy dies after being struck by a stray bullet amidst a gang gunfight. Brian Godlock (Joel Kinnaman), the child’s father, immediately hunts down and successfully locates a handful of the culprits. However, his confrontation with the gang leader, Playa (Harold Torres), leaves him severely wounded and on the brink of death. 


Brian survives, but he loses the ability to speak, along with his will to live. This burdens his wife, Saya (Catalina Sandino), who struggles to tend to her husband’s despair while also grieving the loss of her son on her own terms. When she finally gives up and decides to leave their home, Brian finds the motivation he needs to keep going: vengeance. 


On how he approached storytelling without dialogue, Woo explains: “Making a film without dialogue is more difficult. It’s not an easy job to do. You have to think more than usual. You need to find new ways, new styles, and a very unique language to tell the story. Unique visual language to tell the story. The sound, the vision. Using the vision instead of the language. It’s not easy work. It needs a lot of thought.” 


On what it was like working with Woo, lead actor Joel Kinnaman shared: John is not just an iconic film director. He is the master of the camera. I’ve never worked with a film director that can tell so much of the story just in the way that he moves the camera. And I can also tell and understand why he wanted to do this film that doesn't have dialogue because it just opens up so many opportunities to design these beautiful shots, and instead of just shooting this scene where you have the coverage, closeups, mediums shots, wide shot and then you cut it all together, here we’re very sparse with the coverage. A lot of the scenes are just one or two setups. And you tell the whole scene in how we stage it and how the camera moves. It’s gonna be a very artistic film.”


Discover how a tormented father deals with grief in Silent Night, now streaming on Lionsgate Play. 


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