In “Lorna’s Silence,” we meet a young Albanian woman who is a literary descendant of a character right out of a Dostoevsky novel.
Lorna (Arta Dobroshi) is married to a loser in a scheme to gain Belgian citizenship. He’s drug addict, and the man who arranged the marriage plans to kill him after Lorna secures citizenship.
But instead of turning a blind eye to the nefarious scheme, Lorna’s conscience begins to kick in. Her husband may be a jerk, but he’s not a bad guy. As he tries to kick the habit, Lorna begins to feel for this pathetic creature. Maybe there’s another way to manipulate the situation. Let the guy live and arrange for a divorce in a less heinous manner.
In a Hollywood thriller, we might encounter a conniving wife in league with a vicious gang of con men. Here, the Dardenne brothers, Jean-Pierre and Luc, contrive a richer scenario in which an otherwise tough girl confronts her conscience, not because she falls in love with the intended victim, but because of a moral imperative. Something is assailing her innate moral code.
Written and directed by: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Starring: Arta Dobroshi, Jeremie Renier, Fabrizio Rongione, Alban Ukaj
Running time: 105 minutes
Isn’t this the way consciences work? Slowly and deliberately? The movie presents and explores the ways by which Lorna attempts to extricate herself from this jam, and still stay loyal to a sinister cause.
Take this dilemma to another level, and we may conclude that “Lorna’s Silence” is speaking to us. Once we realize we are accomplices to an immoral act, no matter how slight, the road to redemption is not without pain, and in Lorna’s case, considerable exposure to danger.
Reach film critic Dan DiNicola at [email protected]