Silencio ★★★★

For a film which relies on such soft moments, highlighting the sad sufferings of loss and the quiet dignity of carrying on, Silencio don’t half start off noisy. There’s rattling newsreel footage (I wonder what the future equivalent of this go-to expository device will be: screengrabs? Hashtags?) of Mexico’s very own ‘Bermuda Triangle’, La Zona del Silencio, which, as Wikipedia informs me, is a place of spooky urban legend "where radio signals and any type of communications cannot be received" - yikes! A right racket is then caused when we see an (actual factual irl) 1970 U.S. missile test go tits up, with the warhead crashing into the desert, contaminating it with radioactive ‘cobalt 57’ - more yikes! The film only settles down when a couple of scientists are posted to do some science in the dodgy province, which begins the meditative action following the prologue’s cacophony.

Silencio then slips into the elegiac, pensive tone which will come to characterise this interesting and special time-travel film. Following a subtle indication that one of the scientists is in mourning for an unspecified tragedy, it then transpires that the two boffins find a powerful stone, which, it turns out, has the power to manipulate time (maybe it fell out of Thanos’ glove amirite, etczzzz). Our boys are accidentally transported to a different point in time: the exact moment when James’s (John Noble) family is involved in a car crash, which only his grandchild Ana survives. Thing is though, little Ana avoids being run over only because she spots her grandfather and runs to him… Paradoxes, explosions, devastation (and a turtle): all in the first 10 minutes! We then cut to a few decades later, where Ana is all grown up and played by Melina Matthews, and James is now catatonic, happily staring into the future/past unknown, his poor old brain box fried by the timey wimey madness.