Human relationships. They come in every shape, form, and intensity. Whether it’s between lovers, close friends, family members or two people who just met each other.
The relationship might not have a big impact but it can also stay with you for the rest of your life. Director Dominic Dromgoole (“Globe on Screen: Julius Caesar”, “Shakespeare’s Globe: A Midsummer Night’s Dream”) is fascinated by personal relationships.
With a play by Robert Holman under the arm, he decided to bring “Making Noise Quietly” to life. Sadly, that’s exactly what the film does: Pass us by quietly.
Kent, 1944. Right at the end of the Second World War. The young farmer Oliver (Luke Thompson) is making a small living by selling milk and while he’s living a simple life, he’s very happy with it.
Always there to help others, always generous and always with a smile. His quiet life becomes a lot more intriguing thanks to a totally random encounter with Eric (Matthew Tennyson), the smart and creative painter fascinated by historic architecture.
The gentlemen get to know each other very well as they share their intimate story about family, love, homosexuality, the past, and future. What impact will their unexpected encounter have? Well, you will find that out in the first “Being friends” chapter.
Redcar, 1982. That’s the second part of this film. “As a mother, I don’t want to outlive my son or daughter”. Every mom has spoken those words more than once.
Sadly, May (Barbara Marten) has to face her worst nightmare. She just lost her son during a war. While talking to his commandant Geoffrey (Geoffrey Streatfeild), who brought her the terrible news, she’s blaming him for her son’s death. However, when he makes a difficult but honest confession, their relationship changes instantly. But in which way?
Black Forrest, 1996. Helene (Deborah Findlay) is a painter living in a highly remotely area. While she’s enjoying the gorgeous nature around her, she’s not the only one.
A young boy Sam (Orton O’Brien), who only makes noises, is crossing her path one day together with her stepdad Alan (Trystan Gravelle). While at first, their relationship seems distant, unpleasant and tough, they will open up to each other alongside the way.
For Alan isn’t easy to live with a boy with behavioural problems, and Helene misses her husband who’s working abroad. Will their encounter means something significant for both?
Despite the few mentions of the war, “Making Noise Quietly” is a very… quiet, easygoing and slow. Sometimes a little bit too slow. If you’re a fan of an action-packed and explosive movie, we suggest you watch another movie because “Making Noise Quietly” is everything but that.
It’s all about the conversations, feelings, and emotions. The background piano, classical and dreamy music contribute in a tremendous way to the sensitivity of the movie.
That dreamy atmosphere is heightened by the open, bright and light setting. Whether it’s a wide shot of a vast field in the gorgeous sunlight, a close-up shot in a classic but luminous living room or a panorama view of the sunset behind a charming forest.
Sometimes it just can be confusing whether it’s three totally different short movies in one full-length feature or if there’s a common thread running through the stories. Apart from human relationships.
A (melo)drama film like this is always responding to the heightened emotions of the audience and because of that, the performances are more important than ever.
Fortunately for “Making Noise Quietly”, it has an overall strong cast. Thanks to Thompson (“Dunkirk”, “Shakespeare’s Globe: A Midsummer Night’s Dream”) and Tennyson (“Pride”, “Shakespeare’s Globe: A Midsummer Night’s Dream”), the friendship (or does it become more?) between Oliver and Eric becomes a cheerful, heartwarming and pleasing one. It will put a smile on your face for sure.
However, immediately after that your laughter and happiness will disappear because of the sad, teary and sober emotions because of the gripping performances of Marten (“Hamlet”, “Oranges and Sunshine”) and Streatfeild (“Match Point”, “Rush”).
Last but not least, there are Findlay (“Hampstead”, “Jackie”), Gravelle (“Beast”, “Just Jim”) and O’Brien (“Christopher Robin”, “MotherFatherSon”) who bring harsh and fierce as well as heartwarming and caring emotions to the screen. It’s a shame that not all of the actors have the same screen time because of the difference in the length of the stories.
It was the intention to keep the action or the violence of the war to a very minimum but it would have definitely added some punch to this slow film.
Despite the fact it’s a very quiet and calm movie, you won’t get bored or don’t snooze in. Therefore the beautiful settings, the welcoming feeling, and the captivating human emotions keep you certainly awake.