Having raised the bar quite high with their previous film, "L'enfant," the Dardenne brothers succeed again, with "LORNA'S SILENCE." Arta Dobroshi plays Lorna, a hard working Albanian woman, living in Belgium. As events unfold, one's perspective changes, just as motivations of characters transform. We find Lorna is working for Fabio, a mobster, in a carefully devised scheme bent on earning her crucial Belgian citizenship. Lorna maries a junkie, with the aim to divorce him, and gain citizenship. Then, she will marry a Russian willing to pay a lot for his dream of obtaining citizenship. While immersing herself within the scheme, Lorna finds the drive by focusing on her healthy relationship with a boyfriend, unaware of her true work, and himself focused on the dream of them both saving enough money to open the simple cafe they dream of and live happily ever after together.
Throwing things askew, as only the Dardennes can, the junkie decides to turn his life around, wanting to clean himself off drugs and seeks Lorna's help. As Lorna's compassionate nature takes control, it's apparent that the junkie, Claudy, is actually a great guy, thus making the bigger, original plan she's a part of, all that more troubling and dangerous.
"LORNA'S SILENCE" is a small, but powerful film. Regardless of what one ultimately thinks about the film's conclusion, the film experience offered is bold and provocative. It's the kind of film-going experience so sorely missed within the releases of bigger budgeted, action/comedy oriented releases.
It's also the kind of film that will stay with the viewer long after it's ended.
SONY has preserved the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for this release. The colors are solid, but intentionally never rich. Detail is also generally impressive. However, artifacts do pop up occasionally. Thankfully, the majority of the image is impressive enough so that some minor flaws don't diminish the overall sharpness of the presentation.
The French Dolby Digital 5.1 sound could never be mistaken for aggressive. Dialogue-focused, most of the mix is dedicated to the front center channel. However, occasional separation effects pop up and even a rare surround moment. The sheer power of the story, acting and directing, demonstrate, even the absence of a sound immersive experience can't diminish the impact of an otherwise great film.