It is often said that film is essentially a story told with images. Pure human moments that can be expressed by the slightest movement of the head or a quick cut, do not require unnecessary words. Cinema history has instances where great filmmakers have preferred silence over words. Alfred Hitchcock, for example, created overwhelming visuals even with the soundtrack absent.
Some films may have had more dialogue than the others, however, the primacy of silence over dialogues is common in all. Some of these bore fruits, while others did not. Here, we are going to take a look at five ventures that told their stories with limited dialogue.
The Naked Island (1960)
Director: Kaneto Shindo
Star Cast: Nobuko Otowa, Taiji Tonoyama, Shinji Tanaka
This film, originally titled Hadaka No Shima, revolves around the struggle of a family on an island where they are the only residents. It depicts the perpetual continuity of life despite deaths and trauma in general.
The Nobuko Otowa starrer is well-known for having no dialogue for the first 37 minutes, 50 seconds. It also has multiple awards to its credit. This is inclusive of the Grand Prix at the Moscow International Film Festival.
Director: David Lynch
Star Cast: Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph
This was David Lynch's first critically acclaimed venture. It is the story of a man who has to take care of his mutant child. He is torn between disturbing visions of a woman and hallucinations that represent sexual undertones.
Eraserhead features very few disjointed dialogues and a soundtrack that has been able to gather admirers over the years. This surrealist film not only won an award at the Avoriaz Film Festival in 1982 but was also added to the National Film Registry in 2004.
Cast Away (2000)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Star Cast: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Paul Sanchez
Cast Away is about a FedEx systems engineer, Chuck Noland, who learns to understand the values of life and relationships, while being stuck at an unpopulated island in the South Pacific.
The film is void of lengthy dialogues, however, it still succeeds in being a careful account of how isolation can suck the nectar out of life. This Tom Hanks starrer has had over 35 nominations and 15 wins.
The Tree of Life (2011)
Director: Terrence Malick
Star Cast: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain
This film aims at comprehending the true meaning of life in an effective way. It follows the journey of Jack, the eldest son, from childhood to adulthood, as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father.
The Tree of Life has very few dialogues and is experimental in nature. It not only bagged the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 but has also been listed as one of the 100 greatest American films ever made.
The Revenant (2015)
Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Star Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter
The Revenant is a film about legendary frontiersman Hugh Glass' tryst with survival and death after a bear attack while he was exploring unchartered wilderness.