Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is an FBI trainee who's asigned to talk to a psychopath prisoner, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) in order to get information that might help finding a serial killer known as 'Buffalo Bill', who kidnaps women, starves them for a couple of days and then removes part of their skin. Dr. Lecter was a famous psychiatrist before he started killing people and became Hannibal the Cannibal, nickname what was given to him because instead of skinning his victims as Buffalo Bill does, he ate them. Lecter is going to help Clarice find Buffalo Bill but he wants to be transfered to another prison where he has a view to trees and stuff like that, in his current prison he's completely isolated from everything.
The story is much more complex than that but if you want to know what happens you're gonna have to watch the film, I wont spoil it for you in here.
The Lecter character was portrayed so wonderfully by Hopkins that through the film you get to sympathise with him and forget how evil he really is. He treats Clarice with such charm it's even hard to believe this man used to eat people. Lecter is much smarter than the average people, he could tell you a lot of details about your life just by looking at you, and he's an excellent mind manipulator. That's basically what made the film so great in my opinion, the Lecter character. His calmed tone of voice and the way he says 'Clarice' at the end of every sentence he says to Clarice is terrifying, now everytime I'm in a silent place I start hearing "Good evening, Clarice". Hopkins doesn't have such a scary appearance, it's his facial expression and his metalic voice that make him look frightening.
There are no words to describe how good the acting was in this film, Sir Anthony Hopkins was just unbelievably good and Jodie Foster gave the best performance of her career, they both won an Academy Award for their flawless performances. On the supporting side Ted Levine and Scott Glenn were pretty good also. Direction by Jonathan Demme was great too, he also got an Oscar. Ted Tally got an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. It'd be no surprise by now to say the film also got the Best Picture Oscar.
The thing that I liked most, and I think most people really liked too, is the cinematography. While Lecter and Clarice are having their conversations, Lecter's face it's often shown from a very close angle, his face fills up the whole screen in this occasions and that by itself is truly scary. The film has some blood but it's not as gory as it's sequel, which is totally understandable since it wasn't really needed. This film is a masterpiece and it shouldn't be missed by anyone, it'll have you thinking about it for sometime after you see it.
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