The Silence (2006)

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Released 13-Apr-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-SelectScenes Cate Shortland(Dir.)&Melinda Doring(Prod. Des.)
Interviews-Crew-Jan Chapman (Producer) And Bob Humphries
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 110:15 (Case: 183)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (81:44) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Cate Shortland

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Richard Roxburgh
Alice McConnell
Emily Barclay
Essie Davis
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Antony Partos

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes, including drugs
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Over the last month or so, two high quality locally produced dramas have been screened on the ABC and released on DVD. This one, and one I reviewed a few days ago, Answered by Fire. They are very different in style and subject matter but both are excellent television.

    The story here involves a inner Sydney police detective, Senior Sgt Richard Treloar (Richard Roxburgh), who froze during a violent situation, which resulted in the death of a young woman. Due to this incident, he has been reassigned to a desk job and is in counselling with the police psychologist. The job he has been moved to is running the Police & Justice museum with the assistance of a young woman, Evelyn (Emily Barclay). As part of this job Richard and Evelyn are preparing an exhibition of historical crime scene photos. During the process of choosing photos for the exhibition, Richard starts to notice a woman in a number of murder scene photos, initially as a bystander and finally as a victim. He becomes obsessed with discovering who she is, what she was doing at crime scenes and ultimately why she was murdered. The crime took place in 1964. Due to his obsession with this woman, he withdraws from his relationship with his de-facto, another police officer, Det Sgt Helen Wilson (Alice McConnell) and becomes drawn to a new police psychologist, a Scottish woman, Juliet Moore (Essie Davis). She has just arrived in the country to get away from her abusive husband. The two episodes follow Richard as he slowly begins to unravel the mystery and as his own life also unravels as he spirals out of control.

    This is a dense, complex and occasionally confusing psychological drama/thriller which is also stylish and quite emotional. Richard Roxburgh is excellent as the confused, obsessed and depressed Treloar, a man who knows he needs to find out about this mysterious woman but does not really understand why. The tone of this show is quite claustrophobic and somewhat unsettling due to the regular use of photographs of murder victims. It was directed by Cate Shortland who recently made her first feature, Somersault, which won numerous awards including many 2004 AFIs. The music by Antony Partos and the interesting cinematography also add to the style and feeling of the show. The title refers to the silences in Richard Treloar's life which he fills during the course of the show.

    Oddly, the two episodes are mastered on the disc as only one title despite including both sets of credits. It would have been nice to have them separately selectable.

    A high quality and intriguing local production which sets out to do something different from run of the mill television police shows and succeeds. Recommended.

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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is good but not without issue.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was quite good without really standing out. There was light grain throughout which became worse during darker scenes.

    The colour was very good with no issues to report.

    There were no noticeable artefacts.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read. They are in SBS yellow and shown on screen on the same side as the person speaking.

    The layer change occurs at 81:44 and is quite bad causing a noticeable jump.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is very good.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 256 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was reasonably clear and easy to understand although some lines were a little muffled. There was no problem with audio sync.

    The score of this film by Antony Partos is wonderfully haunting and atmospheric lending a melancholy air to the show.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    A good selection of extras are included, which is quite surprising for a local release. Annoyingly, none of the extras are time coded.


    The menu included music, still photos and the ability to select scenes and subtitles.

Commentary - Selected Scenes - Cate Shortland - Director & Melinda Doring - Production Designer (25:26)

    This extra is just referred to in the menu (and on the case) as a commentary so I was slightly surprised when I realised that it was only for selected scenes. They focus mostly on the locations and production design aspects however they also mention casting, rehearsals, sound, cinematography and how they produced the large number of still images used. It is reasonably interesting but I would not call it essential.

Interviews - Jan Chapman - Producer & Bob Humphries - Cinematographer (19:15)

    Two separate interviews are included here one after the other. They discuss plot, the project's development, casting, financing, locations, shooting approach, lighting, influences and the still photography. Interesting.

Cast Interviews

    Four separate interviews are included here with the main cast members. Included are:

Photo Gallery

    20 stills consisting of the crime scene photos specially constructed for the show.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This show is only available locally but the disc is coded for all regions.


    An intriguing and high quality local television psychological drama.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The set has a good selection of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

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