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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Story of Obsession
I read the novel `Silk' by Alessandro Baricco and loved it. Therefore, I was rather wary of seeing the adaptation. But when I saw the film, I was not disappointed; the visual imagery is beautiful and the Japanese symbolism was well-related.

The location of the story is France in 1862. Herve (Michael Pitt) is convinced by Baldabiou (Alfred Molina) to travel in...
Published on 10 July 2008 by Farah Yousif

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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, but boring
The cinematography is superb with wonderful shots of dramatic scenery. However, the story has so little action and evolves so slowly the film becomes tedious to watch. I haven't read the book upon which the film is based, but I guess it contains a lot of introspection by a narrator and descriptions of feelings which are difficult to portray on screen, and certainly are...
Published on 8 July 2008 by Bluebell


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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Story of Obsession, 10 July 2008
By 
Farah Yousif (Kuwait) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Silk [DVD] (DVD)
I read the novel `Silk' by Alessandro Baricco and loved it. Therefore, I was rather wary of seeing the adaptation. But when I saw the film, I was not disappointed; the visual imagery is beautiful and the Japanese symbolism was well-related.

The location of the story is France in 1862. Herve (Michael Pitt) is convinced by Baldabiou (Alfred Molina) to travel in search of silkworm eggs in order to save the silk-making business. Herve travels to Africa and Japan. During his trip to Japan, he falls in love with a Japanese concubine. When he returns home to France, he cannot forget the Japanese beauty and continues to obsessively long for her.

The untranslated Japanese conversations allows the audience to relate to the main character, as he too does not understand the language. Keira Knightly made a wonderful `Hélène' but I wasn't convinced by Michael Pitt as the main character `Hervé Joncour'; the obsessive inner turmoil wasn't portrayed well on screen. Overall, however, I think the film is well-worth seeing.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, but boring, 8 July 2008
By 
Bluebell (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Silk [DVD] (DVD)
The cinematography is superb with wonderful shots of dramatic scenery. However, the story has so little action and evolves so slowly the film becomes tedious to watch. I haven't read the book upon which the film is based, but I guess it contains a lot of introspection by a narrator and descriptions of feelings which are difficult to portray on screen, and certainly are not by lead actor's (Michael Pitt) performance, which is wooden and unconvincing as an intrepid traveller. Much of the story is conveyed by a voice-over narrated by Pitt in a mumbling, monotonous voice with little variation in tone that adds to the feeling of boredom.
Disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hidden treasure, 11 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Silk [DVD] (DVD)
A great film , perhaps a little slow for some but very touching with a particularly sad ending , well worth a watch .
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Love, 2 April 2011
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Nostalgia (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Silk [DVD] (DVD)
Having read the synopsis for this film, and other reviewers' comments, I wasn't quite sure what to expect but, on the whole I was pleasantly surprised. I feel that the storyline has already been adequately described and I found this to be somewhat sad and poignant, especially towards the end.

I too was not entirely convinced by Michael Pitt's portrayal of Herve Joncour and found his narrative a little monotonous. I can't really say that I found the film boring - perhaps just a little slow until it got under way. Overall, a very decent film (the underlying theme being the power of love rather than silkworm egg smuggling) and I was especially pleased that it was not drowned-out by loud background music.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most beautiful film I have ever seen, 1 Feb 2011
By 
Lepidina "Lepi" (Northwestern England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Silk [DVD] (DVD)
Silk is the most beautiful and atmospheric film I have ever seen. It is perfectly poised and reflects its subject matter very well. Contrary to what some reviewers have written, it is not boring at all. OK, so you won't find any car chases in this film - but you wouldn't expect those either.

This film is totally classy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Vacant, 7 May 2009
By 
Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Silk [DVD] (DVD)
Silk is beautifully filmed (indeed at times one feels the National Geographic must have produced it) but as a film of internalised longing it finds no way to externalise that longing. The actors appear wooden and the action is incredibly slow. I have not read the underlying book and this might have made a difference; but I cannot recommend the film as a standalone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great, 5 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Silk [DVD] (DVD)
it was so good to watch this and i have all the collection to go with silk .... i have no dislike all likes :) xxxxxx
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Brilliant., 8 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Silk [DVD] (DVD)
Having read mostly mediocre reviews of this film i didn't really have any expectations when i sat down to watch it last night. Maybe that's the reason i found it so entrancing and beautiful. I haven't read the book but i loved the movie so much that i've just ordered it too.
As people have already mentioned, the cinematography is extremely gorgeous. The scenes filmed in Japan were just stunning. As for Michael Pitt, i can't fault him- maybe when i read the book i'll see why people didn't like his performance but personally i liked it. Though i will admit to being quite a big fan of his anyway, having seen most of his other movies. I find him hypnotic, like Johnny Depp in The Brave, he doesn't need to say or do much to get his emotions across. As for his voice, i find it calming and serene and also quite entrancing.
Keira Knightley- who often gets slated by people, though i can never really see why- granted she's a bit pouty and posy at times but generally a good actress- was also very good in her role, as was Alfred Molina who i always love.
I found it quite emotional too and i did shed a few tears at the end. The story is heart-breaking and heart-warming at the same time which isn't something that happens a lot in movies and i found it so touching, it'll stay with me forever.
Overall i just fell in love with this movie, it had me from the beginning and my eyes barely left the screen throughout. It's a slow moving film, a bit like Lost in Translation(not the story, just the fact that it's quite atmospheric) and i personally love it. Scenes from it keep randomly popping into my head ever since i watched it and for me, that's always a sign of a really reat film. It's obviously gotten under my skin and i plan on watching it again very soon!
Not for everybody but i definitely recommend it to anyone who feels they may like it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Silky smooth, slow but sure., 7 July 2014
By 
J. Scott-mandeville "jackie veronica" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Silk [DVD] (DVD)
A accurate and brave attempt to interpret Alessandro Baricco's complex and minimalist novella which leaves so much to the imagination, this film succeeds in creating the appropriate atmosphere, but fails to develop the main characters fully as people. This is much due to the minimalist style of the novelist whose characters are symbols, undeveloped as people, reflections of the inner story Baricco is telling. A film depends on the portrayal of people and the 'Silk' central characters are shadowy, ephemeral, almost unreal, especially the concubine in Japan with whom the central character, Hervé Joncour, falls in unrequited love.

As in the book, the most alive and 'real' character is Baldabiou, the silk merchant, and he is well played by that consummate actor, Alfred Molina. Sei Ashina as the concubine uses her eyes effectively (as she does not speak). Michael Pitt tries hard as Joncour - almost impossible to re-create as he is so undefined in the book. Keira Knightly has little to work with as the almost invisible wife, Hélène. The film 'Silk' makes the mistake of focussing on the love story - the superficial glue that hides the depth of the story beneath - rather than the complex and intricate portrayal of the strange and wonderful world of silk trading as depicted in the book.

The best aspects of this film are the Japanese landscapes of old-world Japan before the influence of the West. The Japanese mountains and the primitive living conditions, the exotic 'otherness' of an unknown world, are captured effectively and are the highpoint of the film. The domestic world of Hervé's home and his wife is intentionally mundane, to contrast with Hervé's attraction to Japan (epitmomised by his obsession with the concubine). On this level, the film partially works, but it is not enough to grip an audience. This story is much better in its original novelistic form. The film is worth watching, if only to invite and encourage viewers to read the book.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating at the very least!, 26 July 2012
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This review is from: Silk [DVD] (DVD)
First of all, seeing this film has not stopped me from wanting to read the book. On the contrary, I want to read the book more so simply due to such a disappointing portrayal of such a promising story! Rather than left feeling touched and moved and perhaps a little wet round the eyes I was left saying "is that it?". I am not a particular fan of Keira Knightley's as I find she can be rather two-dimensional and this film does nothing to quell this opinion! Likewise the gifted Michael Pitt and superb Alfred Molina have suddenly been turned into cardboard cut-outs and almost seemingly being used simply for their names and quality acting status'!! Perhaps, in all fairness, the acting should not be so much criticised for its mediocrity as the directing! Granted, as the saying goes, "a workman is only as good as his tools" but when you're given such talents as Molina and Pitt why on earth would you waste all your efforts on the scenery?!

In summery, if you expect a moving story of love, passion, betrayal etc in a similar ilk as Memoirs of a Geisha and The Painted Veil then you may be sorely disappointed and I would suggest you rent this as opposed to buying. Of course, it goes without saying that one should read the literary version of any adaptation to get a better perspective on the story and as with some adaptations the books are usually better (I could easily name a few). You may find, as I have noticed from some of the other reviews, that this film is the best thing since sliced bread or like me you may find it wonting. Unfortunately with this film, the beautiful and scenic cinematography does not balance with the rest of the film and it makes the story seem unfinished and may have you pulling your hair out and shouting at the screen as you may feel the director did not do justice to such a promising story.
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Silk [DVD]
Silk [DVD] by Carlo Cecchi (DVD - 2008)
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