Making Noise Quietly is not what our Editor does when he books a romantic weekend with his wife in a cheap thin walled hotel (‘You’re fired!’ – Ed) but is a film adaptation of writer Robert Holman’s stage play. Split into three separate stories the first of which is set in 1944 wartime Kent with the chapter heading ‘Being Friends’ with a rather fey Quaker pacifist befriending a young bluff Northerner. It’s an unlikely friendship that develops when they bump into one another as the pacifist buys beer for a picnic. It’s a throwback to more innocent times with the pair of them sitting on the Kent coast line where the pacifist gets round to talking about his homosexuality. Though winningly played there is a slight air of unbelievability about their blossoming friendship which seems to turn a blind eye to the likelihood that a straight laced Northern lads reaction is probably to reach for his kicking boots rather than eating cheese and bread, gazing out across the sea and talking wistfully about the war and being gay.The stilted dialogue doesn’t help either with lines such as, ‘The whole world is more wicked and bad than is bearable’ and ultimately this is the least engaging of the three stories.
The second chapter titled ‘Lost’ is set in 1982 and like the first chapter is essentially another two hander as a Navy officer calls at the mother of a soldier to tell her that her son has been killed in the Falklands war. Dropping that bombshell the mother, rather than collapse in tears, gabbles away presumably to cover her grief but as the story unfolds the mother/son relationship unfolds in two really great little performances. The last chapter, ‘Making Noise Quietly, is the longest (and is overlong). Set in the Black Forest an elderly woman paints landscape pictures when a father, chasing after his young son through the forest, bump into her. There’s an initial feeling that the father is up to something but as the story unfolds we see he is struggling to cope with his son who has his own issues possibly bought on by the separation of his parents. With his father at his wits end as to how to deal with him not helped by his son stealing the woman’s items from her house it’s little surprise that he’s a ball of fury. It’s not helped by the boy just not engaging with people in any way normal stamping his foot to reply to questions he’s asked like a performing animal on Britain’s Got Talent and screaming & screeching like Gemma Collins in Greggs being told the last sausage roll has just been sold. It’s hardly surprising that his father has such a short fuse with him and it’s the woman who starts to make emotional inroads
Making Noise Quietly is extremely stagey but director Dominic Dromgoole has an extensive and highly respected background in Shakespearean stage plays. Robert Holman’s stage play doesn’t really lend itself to being particularly cinematic and the stories are linked by a man in a barn playing a piano for no obvious reason but the performances are good even if the three stories are a little uneven.
Here’s the Making Noise Quietly trailer…….