Indie Films: Simple Like Silver (2021) - Reviewed

 


Director Damian Lahey's contemplative film Simple Like Silver (2021) couldn't come at a better time. At its core, it is about the way that people's lives intersect with each other either directly or indirectly. Even if someone never meets face-to-face they are connected by universal truths and emotions like fear, sadness, hope, and exhilaration. 

Simple Like Silver follows the trajectory of three characters: Angela (Susanna Nelson) a women who wakes up disoriented and confused after being drugged after a date, Lucia (Christina Marsillach) a middle-aged women on a vacation after being diagnosed with a chronic terminal illness, and Joe (Hudson Sims) a young boy who is an aspiring writer. Through twists of fate these characters cross paths and inspire each other. The narrative and pacing is ambient and dream-like with a majority of the film told through internal monologue voice-over and stream-of-consciousness--it almost feels like prose from a novel.

 



 

The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous with a black-and-white grading that illuminates the scenery with beautiful contrast. Lahey shot the film in St. Augustine Florida and the abundance of greenery and picturesque framing imbues the atmosphere with a comforting aesthetic. The scenes where Lucia visits busy tourist destinations also impart a wistful nostalgia for pre-pandemic times when we were free to roam wherever we pleased. 

The combination of this meta-context and Lucia's impending death from her illness combine to form a profound sense of melancholy. Fortunately, the plot thread following the child writer and his boundless optimism (ah, to be young) lightens the mood quite a bit. These peaceful interludes are interrupted occasionally with some violent imagery concerning Angela and it adds just a touch of unsettling uncertainty to the proceedings.

 


David Wingo's (Barry, Midnight Special, Take Shelter) evocative score wraps itself around the visuals like a sheet of gauze, enveloping it with emotive guitar work yet never overpowering the characters and allowing their stories to shine through. Simple Like Silver is a poetic ode to living life and moving forward even through strife and set-backs. If one stops to look around they will find elegance and grace and perhaps even peace of mind.

--Michelle Kisner