Review for Broken Notes
(Originally posted on fight-evil.com)
If you're a fan of Silent Hill 2 (the video game, to be clear), then you may get a kick out of this moderately obscure Spanish flick. It's basically a live-action version of the game, which has it's pros and cons.
Pros being, if you're a fan of the game, then you'll probably enjoy how closely the movie follows it. But if you're like me, and know next to nothing about the games, then the movie seems mostly like a mess.
There's a plot, being a man going to Silent Hill in order to find his wife (who died three years earlier, but as he got a letter from her, he's understandably hopeful), but it feels rather disjointed. The dialogue is both stilted and awkward (though that may be partially due to the fact the game's dialogue, to my understanding, is much the same), and some things don't make much sense. Almost everything's a metaphorical representation of something, and while occasionally deep, that doesn't do much for me.
Parts of the movie just don't seem to follow the previous scenes, and that's not something I care much for. What also has to be discussed is the audio quality of the film. There's not a whole lot of talking in this movie, but there's also not much "in-world" sounds, and by that, I mean if a character hits another character with a crowbar, there's no thump. It's just silent, as if it's in a vacuum. It happens throughout the film, and it's at best mildly distracting.
The color scheme of the film (sort of a faded palate; you can see different colors, but the only one that really sticks out is red) was unique, and did help with the dreamy quality of the film. That's one thing the film should really get props for - the dreamy atmosphere. It's helped along by the aforementioned disjointed scenes, odd dialogue, color scheme, and audio. So basically, everything in this movie adds to the dreamy atmosphere, which does come across as cool, but again, that's not something I'm a big fan of.
It's somewhat similar to another obscure film titled Silver Cell (2011), though I actually liked that one quite a lot more. Broken Notes seems to be for hardcore fans of Silent Hill 2, but anyone else who watches it, while they can get a plot out of it, will feel as though something's missing. So for the right crowd, this movie may actually be, if not a fun ride, an interesting one. For me, though, given it's hour and 40 minute run-time, it was just tedious. 4.5/10.