Breaking the Silence (1992)

Stephanie Zimbalist and Gregory Harrison in Breaking the Silence (1992)

Secrets and Lies

I tend not to do this but when I checked out "Breaking the Silence" on imdb I was surprised to see it had a rating of 7.0 as this is a made for TV movie and it is a rare thing to see a TV movie with that high of a score. In truth I was suspicious as the write ups for "Breaking the Silence" didn't actually make it seem like this was a great movie but I thought maybe I was wrong and this was something special. Sad to say my suspicions were justified as whilst solid and entertaining "Breaking the Silence" isn't a great movie in fact at times it is a slog.

Hot shot city lawyer Paul Danner (Gregory Harrison - A Christmas Romance) gets a surprise visit from Janey Kirkland (Stephanie Zimbalist - Incident in a Small Town) who he hasn't seen from their days in law school and wants to call in a favour. She is defending 17 year old Kenny Becker (Chris Young) who after years of abuse from his father killed him and she is over head. Reluctantly Paul agrees to travel to Buffalo to speak to Kenny but won't commit to helping, that is until he meets Kenny's mother who whilst in a sanatorium is not insane. It causes Paul to remember his own painful childhood and issues with his own mother.

"Breaking the Silence" is a mix of two stories, a typical courtroom drama where we have a smart lawyer using all his skills and smarts to defend a kid accused of murdering his abusive father and this is combined with the lawyer having to face his own troubled past due to the similarities between his childhood and the case. This is in fairness interesting and entertaining because not only do we get some courtroom theatrics which is what you expect but we also get the mystery over Danner's past which appear through flashbacks and similarities between himself and Kenny. It does have some twists and interesting angles such as Kenny's disgust of women and the strange meetings which Paul has with what appears to be a hooker in a darkened room but it never really gets you gripped.

Basically it is solid but also at times a bit laborious almost missing something to make burst into life until the big revelation comes which sadly isn't a huge shock. Despite that the performances are solid with Gregory Harrison and Stephanie Zimbalist working well together as well as individually with Harrison doing a good job of being a hot shot lawyer but also one conflicted by his own childhood.

What this all boils down to is that "Breaking the Silence" is a solid courtroom drama with some nice embellishments and performances but it is certainly nothing more than average.