SXSW Film Festival: Sound of Violence Review

Plot: A young girl recovers her hearing and gains synesthetic abilities during the brutal murder of her family. Finding solace in the sounds of bodily harm, as an adult, she pursues a career in music composing her masterpiece through gruesome murders.

As a film critic, we are always seeking that next high, that next film that knocks our socks off and makes us remember why we love movies so much. Often along the way, we see a project and think, “this film will be it,” and it disappoints us in the end. We go back to the drawing board, hoping the next will be that one. That high, for me, is important, and as we begin on this journey with Alexis, a young deaf girl, director Alex Noyer points out early on her love for music by touching the speaker on the side of the door in the car. One tragic night where she finds herself defending her mother, who is getting beaten to death by her father, she connects with a hit to his head. She receives this high from it, which causes this adrenaline rush and gives her the ability to hear again. Alexis, like me, seeks to find this high in all different kinds of places.

As we fast forward to the present day, we weave in and out with her and her best friend (Lili Simmons) going through these unconventional ways of attempting to find this high. Alexis struggles to find this high, and it begins to take a toll on her.

We can look at Alexis in so many different ways. In one aspect, she is a strong independent woman who understands what she wants or as a tragedy-born troubled woman who doesn’t understand how to cope with what happened. Either way, you look at it, writer Alex Noyer leaves the audience’s option to decipher how you take in the film. 

Speaking of Noyer, who initially introduced us into this world with the short film’ Conductor,’ brings to life this idea of how we handle grief in our unique ways. The first-time feature film director and writer takes some serious risk throughout the film, and for me, each one pays off. Noyer utilizes the cast and crew’s talents around him to enrich the story. From the acting to the absolutely breathtaking cinematography (Daphne Qin Wu) to his excellent use of sound, he gets the best from all parties. 

Photo credit: You Know Films/No Office Films

Alexis is a uniquely written character, and when speaking to Alex Noyer about the casting of Jasmin Savoy Brown, he said the moment he met her, he knew she was his Alexis. Throughout the film, you see why he felt that way. With the multitude of layers within Alexis, Jasmin brings each of these to life. I was impressed with Jasmin’s ability to sell us in the little moments and make you empathize with her journey. Jasmin Savoy Brown is this film and is a star-in-the-making. 

Co-star Lili Simmons, who plays Marie, Alexis’s best friend, is equally fantastic. She brings out the best of Jasmin when they are on screen together. Their chemistry is electric and does wonder for the movie’s story. 

The final stretch is where Alex Noyer thrives. I was on the edge of my seat, thinking to myself, this could be my next high. I had it made up in my mind we were on this journey but was scared that it would be ruined if Noyer wrapped up the film with a bow. As we inched closer and closer to that final moment, my heart was racing, the high was here, and how he closed this film was perfect, Alexis’s journey was fulfilled, as was mine.

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