Example Of Essay On Hollywood Film Critique

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Character, Cinema, Buffalo, Killer, Psychology, Film, Ethics, Serial Killer

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2021/02/22


The Silence of the Lambs is a psychological thriller that depicts a renowned psychologist, Hannibal Lector, who is suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder. The movie successfully reveals a series of character traits and attitudes in Dr. Lector instead of labelling him as an evil person. The other character having a psychological disorder is that of Buffalo Bill, a serial killer.
Although the central plot surrounds on the manner in which FBI agent, Clarice Starling, played by Jodie Foster nabs the serial killer, Buffalo Bill, there exists a commanding presence by Dr. Hannibal Lector. Before introducing Dr. Lector in person to the audience, it is informed that he is a cannibal and is highly dangerous and manipulative. But, once the viewer meets Dr. Lector, certain other character streaks are portrayed. Dr. Lector is shown to be genuine and caring despite psychologically reading and analysing FBI agent, Clarice Starling. Dr. Lector uses several tricks to find out about the intelligence levels of Clarice Starling by providing anagrams and cues to find out about the serial killer, Buffalo Bill. The film reveals details aspects of Dr. Lector’s personality by highlighting his skills for observing minute details while analysing a person, having intense curiosity about a person’s private life and his high sensitivity to smells. He is adept in tricking and manipulating FBI agent Clarice Starling to share her childhood experiences of trauma. The film further reveals his personality when it shows him eating a human being. It also shows that he enjoys cannibal meat.
In its penultimate scenes the film portrays in detail the serial killer Buffalo Bill to be monstrous and horrific. The audience understands that Buffalo Bill also suffers from the same Antisocial Personality Disorder as Dr. Lector. However, his character is far more monstrous as it is linked with his wish for getting a sex change surgery, applying makeup and sewing. The film visually captures his aberrant body and persona by displaying several tattoos, punctured nipples and the manner in which he applies lipstick and eyeshadow. The penultimate portrayal of Buffalo Bill’s character shows him donning a wig out of the scalp of a female victim thereby informing the viewer that he is not only a killer but a wannabe transgender. The film thereby vividly portrays his motivation for killing female victims by relating it with his transgendered body (Sullivan, 40).
The movie has sketched the character of Dr. Hannibal Lector to be highly scheming, deceptive and evil. On the other hand, Buffalo Bill as a wannabe transgender has been depicted to be highly monstrous. In real life, not all serial killers and psychopaths represent such character traits. The Silence of the Lambs sketches Dr. Hannibal’s character to be a cannibal and he is hence considered evil. It is highly fictional as mental disorders may at times be controlled temporarily by means of medicines and not all serial killers, sociopaths and psychopaths display the same character streak to be evil.
Movies often evade giving the audience a simple message – all psychopaths and sociopaths are evil. However, in real life this may not always be the case because they are ailing people and needs to be cared for and provided treatment. The Silence of The Lambs subtly portrays some underlying emotions of Dr. Hannibal Lector for the FBI agent, Clarice Starling. It also shows that psychopaths and sociopaths kills in a pattern in order to fulfil some aspirations or to take revenge. This may not be the case in real life. There are more number of psychopaths who successfully lead a non-violent life and have a stable profession. On the contrary, most serial killers display some traits of psychopaths or may be a psychopath. Experts maintain that film representations of sadistic and grotesque characters provide a distorted opinion to the general public. In the real world, psychopaths are motivated to take the extreme step to murder people or break the law so as to satiate their whims, gratification and egocentricity and not for sexual hungers and power equations as is portrayed in The Silence of The Lambs (Hare, 74).

Works cited:

Hare, R. D. Without conscience: the disturbing world of psychopaths among us. New York: Guilford Press, 1999. Print.
Sullivan, K. E. Ed Gain and the figure of the transgendered serial killer. Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, (2000), 43: 38 – 47. Print.

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WePapers. (2021, February, 22) Example Of Essay On Hollywood Film Critique. Retrieved May 22, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-essay-on-hollywood-film-critique/
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"Example Of Essay On Hollywood Film Critique." WePapers, Feb 22, 2021. Accessed May 22, 2022. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-essay-on-hollywood-film-critique/
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Example Of Essay On Hollywood Film Critique. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-essay-on-hollywood-film-critique/. Published Feb 22, 2021. Accessed May 22, 2022.

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