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The Independent Critic

Kayla Gill, Stacy Hoskins, Seth Cheek, Aric Dylon Stanish, Kelly Pearson, Erica Stikeleather
Marx Pyle
24 Mins.

 "Silence of the Belle" Review 
Belle (Kayla Gill) is a beautiful woman with a bit of a problem. An intelligent and personable woman, Belle actually has two problems - Don (Seth Cheek) and Mark (Aric Dylon Standish). Don is a successful businessman who can't seem to keep his pants on, and not just with Belle. Mark, on the other hand, is a bad boy ex who seems to keep coming back into the picture.

After a freak accident in her office, Belle "awakens" to find herself in a bizarre silent film world that weaves together classic Hollywood, a little bit of horror and, just for fun, even a touch of old kung fu cinema.

If you can't handle experimental cinema, then the odds are pretty good that Silence of the Belle is not for you.

That would be a shame, because writer/director Marx Pyle's Silence of the Belle is an intriguing, entertaining and inventive film that dishes out both comedy and drama with equal delight. As Belle, Kayla Gill is an absolute delight with a performance that is funny, sweet, endearing, romantic and adorably quirky. Gill may actually be most convincing in the film's silent film moments, not because there's anything wrong with her voice but because she projects such a vibrancy and fluidity on the big screen that one can almost see her standing side-by-side with Chaplin, Keaton or any number of the silent film era's big names.

Belle is sort of companioned in the film by Louise (Stacy Hoskins), a big sister type whose constantly encouraging her to leave those cheatin' types behind and find herself a real man. Hoskins offers the perfect parallel performance to that of Gill, a more earthy and relaxed performance that nicely contrasts with Gill's larger than life fluidity. Both Gill and Hoskins together make you wonder just how nobody has managed to cast these two before. They're simply a delight.

Kudos go to Niel Kellen for his inventive camera work and, most of all, to Pyle himself for a script that defies normalcy and yet manages to remain consistently entertaining despite jumping around a variety of cinematic genres.

Silence of the Belle recently screened at the Homegrown Hoosier Film Festival at the historic Paramount Theatre in Anderson, Indiana but it was unfortunately in an earlier block of films where it didn't quite get the attention and audience it deserves (Sadly, short films never do). The film continues on the festival circuit and is definitely worth checking out should you get a chance.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic