JDIFF Review – The Quiet Roar

Marianne (Evabritt Strandberg) is a woman in her 60s, suffering a terminal illness, left with anguish over the choices she has made in her life, she seeks treatment at a mysterious clinic. Injected with Psilocybin (The active ingredient in magic mushrooms) and guided through meditation, Marianne journeys into her subconscious, where she is faced with her former self.

The Quiet Roar is an interesting concept for a film, in which the direction our lives take is decided in a single moment. Marianne journeys back through her memories to make peace with actions she took when she was 25, and face the fate decided by her illness. The idea that we could go back and make peace with the past is an interesting one, and it is this that forms the centre of the film.

The cast do well with their roles, making The Quiet Roar seem like a rather unassuming film, but it is through Fredrik Wenzel and Henrik Hellström’s script that the reasons for this journey, and the lessons that Marianne has learned through her life are revealed

Henrik Hellström directs competently, allowing the central concept of the film to take the fore. There is a feel of both Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the 2013 JDIFF winner Vanishing Waves about the film; there is something sci-fi going on here set, as the film is, in an unnamed future where humans have the ability go return to their memories, make peace with them and forgive themselves before they die. The Quiet Roar is not as visually stunning as either of these films, but there is a lot of beauty to be found in Fredrik Wenzel’s cinematography, and the gaze of both past and present Marianne on bother herself, and those around her.

In all, The Quiet Roar feels like a mediation on forgiveness and acceptance, through the lens of science fiction and the character’s knowledge that she has limited time to make peace with herself. There are times where the film drifts along, not seeming to be aware of the message it is trying to create, but the entire thing comes together in the end, making The Quiet Roar a powerful piece of filmmaking.

Rating: 4/5

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