Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Silent Night

At the end of the world, we come together and celebrate with those we love. That's the basic idea behind the dark comedy Silent Night which sees old friends reunite for Christmas as the whole world is slowly being enveloped in a deadly gas cloud. Governments have given up and have provided suicide pills for their citizens, to avoid the more painful death brought on by the gas (which, if the children are to believed, may either be caused by environmental factors or the Russians).

The hosts for the Christmas party are Nell (Keira Knightley) and Simon (Matthew Goode) along with their twin boys (Hardy Griffin Davis and Gilby Griffin Davis) and younger son Art (Roman Griffin Davis) who is one of the few guests not so keen on mixing suicide and yuletide cheer. The other guest who is anti-pill is the younger wife (Lily-Rose Depp) of another member of the group (Sope Dirisu) who has recently discovered she is pregnant.

The cast is rounded out by the boring Tony (Rufus Jones) and and his more outgoing wife Sandra (Annabelle Wallis), who still harbors an obvious crush for another member of the group, and their hell-on-wheels daughter Kitty (Davida McKenzie), and the odd pairing of the selfish Bella (Lucy Punch) and her agreeable wife Alex (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) who never even thinks to complain despite her various levels of discomfort.

Silent Night is one of those films where a group of people get together (most of whom know each other well enough to make things dangerous), alcohol flows freely, and tongues are loosened revealing old secrets, hurt feelings, and confessions. Added to the tension is the group's planned suicide pact, death literally rolling through the hills and eventually creeping to the front door, and arguments about what is best for everyone involved. More than one character will find themselves at wit's end before the night is done.

Oddly enough, Silent Night isn't the first end-of-the-world comedy for Keira Knightley who was wonderful in the more quirky  Seeking a Friend for the End of the World back in 2012. While this film may not be as strong, Silent Night did keep my interest throughout with a large and diverse enough cast to allow various small dramas to continue to percolate until it's time for larger conflicts to take center stage. And for movie about suicide pacts and the end of the world, the film is both witty and droll while providing its share of laughs.

Watch the trailer

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