Berberian Sound Studio

I like Toby Jones and if you can get past the inaccessible title, the premise of a film set in a post-production sound studio sounds intriguing. So does the idea of the timid, English engineer who is at home recording birdsong on the North Downs being sent to an Italian horror film studio and being asked to record sounds for the stabbings and screams of a horror flick using various vegetables appeal! The quiet Englishmen being thrust out if his professional comfort zone and into a world of Italian emotions and loyalties. But unfortunately this turns out to be a flappy, vague drama.

The film’s atmosphere is set initially and you are intrigued, but nothing is really done with it. It also plays on national stereotypes a bit too much and the characters are weak. Toby Jones’s character is too mute and the Italians are too rude and theatrically portrayed to be convincing.

It seems to be primarily a romantic nostalgia piece to analogue tape equipment. In fact the sound recording moments are interesting, but there’s just no story in particular, and certainly no ending.

2 on 5

Director: Peter Strickland
Starring: Toby Jones, Tonia Sotiropoulou, Susanna Cappellaro, Cosimo Fusco, Suzy Kendall UK Release: 31st August 2012


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