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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner7/11/2007

Gorgeous to look at but ultimately disappointing, Silk is let down by stilted direction, an extremely dull script and a badly miscast Michael Pitt.

What's it all about?
Set in 1862 and based on the best-selling novel by Alessandro Baricco, Silk stars Michael Pitt as French military officer Herve Joncour, who marries devoted schoolteacher Helene (Keira Knightley) and leaves the army in order to accept a job as a silk trader with rogueish silk magnate Baldabiou (Alfred Molina). Joncour is immediately packed off on a long, dangerous mission to Japan, where he encounters powerful local baron Hara Jubei (Koji Yakusho) and gradually falls for his mysterious concubine (Sei Ashina).

The Good
The film looks gorgeous, courtesy of cinematographer Alain Dostie and some stunning location work. In addition, Alfred Molina gives a colourful supporting performance as Baldabiou and even performs a series of impressive trick shots on a pool table.

Keira Knightley is equally good, although she's not really required to do very much other than a bit of sighing and crying. Still, she throws herself into the numerous sex scenes with her customary aplomb, proving once again that she's no fan of the no-nudity clause.

The Bad
Unfortunately, the film is extremely dull and drags on interminably for what seems like hours. This is partly the fault of the meandering, badly written script, though the boring, repetitive, piano-based score doesn't help matters much either.

The biggest problem is that Michael Pitt is badly miscast and he constantly looks as if he'd much rather be somewhere else. Worse, he has zero chemistry with either of his two co-stars and he delivers the copious amounts of voiceover in a soporific monotone that is likely to send you to sleep well before the halfway point.

Worth seeing?
Despite a decent supporting cast and some impressive production design work, Silk remains something of a disappointment, thanks to poor direction, a painfully dull script and Pitt's miscast performance.

Film Trailer

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Content updated: 28/02/2020 03:23

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