PTS Original: The Silent Forest (2020) poster
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 402 users
# of Watchers: 1,393
Reviews: 4 users
Ranked #1858
Popularity #6870
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Hearing-impaired teenager Chang Cheng transfers to a school for children with special needs. However, the world of the hearing-impaired doesn't seem quiet at all. When Chang witnesses the "game" taking place in the last row on the school bus, his excitement about blending into a new environment immediately turns into fear. Seeing Bei Bei, the girl he has a crush on, getting hurt so badly, Xiao Guang, the ringleader, behaving like a king and other schoolmates acting innocent, Chang debates with himself on whether he should reveal the cruel truth about the game or whether he should join in. As the divide between the perpetrators and the victim begins to blur, confusion and anxiety grow among everyone in school. (Source: IMDb) ~~ Based on real events in Taiwan. ~~ Release dates: Jun 25, 2020 (Festival) || Oct 15, 2020 (TV) Edit Translation

  • English
  • 中文(台灣)
  • Русский
  • Türkçe
  • Country: Taiwan
  • Type: Special
  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: Jun 25, 2020
  • Aired On: Thursday
  • Duration: 1 hr. 44 min.
  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 402 users)
  • Ranked: #1858
  • Popularity: #6870
  • Content Rating: 13+ - Teens 13 or older

Cast & Credits

Photos

PTS Original: The Silent Forest (2020) photo
PTS Original: The Silent Forest (2020) photo
PTS Original: The Silent Forest (2020) photo
PTS Original: The Silent Forest (2020) photo
PTS Original: The Silent Forest (2020) photo
PTS Original: The Silent Forest (2020) photo

Reviews

Completed
bleh
19 people found this review helpful
Nov 30, 2020
1 of 1 episodes seen
Completed 10
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers

Exceptional, Unforgettable

Previously when this movie haven't been listed on MDL, and when I was really affected by this movie and needed somewhere to vent my thoughts, I ended up writing a review on the Korean movie 'Silenced', which had a strikingly similar premise as this movie. In my previous review, I wrote about the comparison of 'Silenced' and 'The Silent Forest', by listing some aspects that were done differently and similarly between these 2 movies. I just felt that these 2 movies really complemented each other really well and they're so so so worth watching despite the emotional trauma that they'll leave us viewers with.

If you're thinking about whether to give this a watch, my answer to you is: This is a NECESSARY watch.

There's just so much I can talk about in regards to this movie; I don't even know where to start and how to start breaching this topic. All I can say is that this is a masterpiece. It's so rare for a movie to affect me so much that I'm just grabbing fistfuls of hair in the cinema and feeling so much anger and despair at the same time that I don't even know my tears were because of the anger or the despair that I'd felt.

Just to list some things off my head about this movie:
(note: possible spoilers ahead, i tried to refrain from revealing too many details about the plot)

[Villain]

One striking aspect of this movie was the concept of villains. The main antagonist of this movie isn't a conventional 'true' villain. He's what I would call an anti-villain. His character caused me so much dilemma throughout the entire movie, my heart hurts for him. I wouldn't say that Xiao Guang (Kim Hyun Bin) has notable redeeming qualities that made me feel that he shouldn't be punished for his misdeeds, but my heart also ached so much for him that I don't want him to receive a harsh punishment, because ultimately, he is still a broken child. This movie made me ponder about the concept of what really makes up an 'evil' person? There's so many cases of portrayals in dramas and movies that villains are just psychopaths that are born with the inherent desire to harm others. There's not enough exploration into the backstories of antagonists in the majority of dramas and movies in general, and thus I'm really grateful that the producing team wasn't afraid of taking on the challenge of exploring more about Xiao Guang's past. I loved how throughout the movie, Xiao Guang's dark past was slowly being uncovered and viewers were able to follow through that process and were given time to internalize his story and weigh our judgement towards the character. I really love a movie that explores about human nature and how one's experiences can shape a person and influence his behaviour. (!character development!).

[Hearing Impaired in Society]

This movie wasn't afraid of showcasing how the hearing impaired can be disadvantageously treated when they're out and about in society. There were several instances whereby the children spent some days outside of their boarding school, and the experiences they've went through were, well, ugly and heartbreaking. It pains when I'd realized that those children still considered the school as their safe haven despite all the horrendous things that have been happening there, because once they've spent time outside of their school, they realize that they are not 'normal' and struggle to fit into society in general. And society is unforgiving and cold towards them. Personally I've always thought that people in general in this day and age are more inclusive and welcoming in general towards persons with disabilities as compared to the past, but I realized that we are still far far away from being truly inclusive towards this group of people. Something said or done consciously or unconsciously that we might believe is a small, harmless action might have a huge impact on others, and this was brilliantly showcased in this movie.

[Systemic Abuse]

What I believe this movie was trying to convey was the fact that bullying/abuse is systemic and exists in a vicious cycle. Eliminating such a problem is so much more than just removing the one person who's causing all the trouble, or who had started all this trouble, and then expect everything to return to normal again. It's easy to take the convenient way out by just pushing all the blame and punishment to one single person, but when the bullying has spread exponentially to many other people, just like in a pyramid scheme, where there's much more victims than expected; the situation becomes ugly and goes almost beyond salvation. By this stage, it takes a whole lot of resilience and perseverance from someone, or a group of people, to uncover the whole issue and restore justice. Also, often in cases of bullying, the line between the perpetrator and victim is often blurred. After all, most bullies become bullies because they used to be a victim of bullying themselves. In such cases as presented in the movie, where there are so many victims and when the victims themselves become perpetrators, there exists so much resentment, anger, despair, hopelessness and guilt at the same time, and by the time when intervention is provided, who should be held responsible for all this then, when this is just a never ending cycle? This is what this movie leaves us with, and this is a question that we need to ponder about and find a solution to.

There's many more things I can explore and write about regarding this movie, and this review is just a small portion of what had been filling up my head ever since I've watched this movie. All in all, I believe the biggest takeaway for us viewers is to be more observant and aware of what's going on in our surroundings, because what is seen as peaceful on the surface might hide something dark that we can never imagine.

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Completed
Ashu
14 people found this review helpful
Feb 21, 2021
1 of 1 episodes seen
Completed 4
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This movie is disturbing like really really disturbing. Don't take the warning above lightly cuz I truly mean it. I'm the kind of person who enjoys watching gory movies but this one made me feel sick to my stomach. I even had to look away from some scenes. It's THAT disturbing.

But other than it being disturbing af it's a masterpiece regardless. It truly explores human psychology and how different individuals deals with trauma, sexual trauma to be more precise.

The movie doesn't shy away from exploring such heavy and sensitive topics. It shows graphic rape scenes that were just too disturbing to watch but you also are curious to what will happen next.

Basically, as you might've read in the synopsis, the movie is about a guy finding out that the girl he has a crush on is being raped by her "friends" , he doesn't know how to react to that news but he nevertheless talks about it to her and he finds out that the girl despite getting

hurt is apparently ok with it since they are her friends and they consider rape as " just playing" but how can she be ok with it ? So he tells this whole thing to the only trustworthy teacher, our da Jun and he takes the case in charge but little did he knew that the truth is far more cruel than he thought.

Other than it showcasing things about sexual abuse so well, another thing that I loved about it was it's realistic portrayal of deaf kids and how society either shows prejudice or sympathy to them most of the time rather than empathy or help that they have to stay silent.


I feel like the movie does so well without having much dialogues in it. Most of the main characters are deaf from birth so they use sign language to talk to each other and literally the movie barely has any dialogues and I feel like that also helps in creating the eerie atmosphere in the movie plus it's done so well that you don't even realize the has little to no dialogues.

The acting is done effortlessly well that you don't feel the need for the movie to have dialogues plus subtitles are there to help you understand what they are saying by the sign language communication.

You rarely sees movies or stories from the eyes of someone who can't hear and speak but the movie does an incredible job in pulling that off.

Another thing that I loved about it is the poetic cinematography. Some scene/shots feel like they are trying to say something to the viewers. The atmosphere is really created in a way that gives you an eerie kinda feeling and the cinematography helps in keeping that atmosphere.

Now let's talk about my most favourite thing about this movie and it's how no one is a villian in here. The movie is a psychological one and like I said above that it explores sexual abuse in a very deep way. The movie blurs the line between the evil and good because everyone is a victim and everyone is the perpetrator in this movie.

Yes I hated Xiao gaung, the main "bad guy" in the movie in the beginning but I also cried buckets for him and I also know that a lot of other people did too. Cuz the movie and the characters are THAT complex.

Most of the movies that talk about abuse goes like this - ML ( it's always a guy idk why ) finds about abuse, reports to police, fights the villian/s and happy ending but in reality it's not that simple. Abuse specially sexual is not that simple. It makes you feel that your body is tainted and can also turn you into a monster yourself ( although not always the case but it happens, I've seen it happen. )

The movie goes deep into the mind of the "mastermind", why is he like this ? Why is he a monster ? Are monsters born or made ? According to the movie, monsters are clearly MADE and I agree but what do you think ? Watch the movie and tell me do you think they deserve punishment ? Do you think this will ever stop ?

The movie is a masterpiece and although after reading this blog you may have gotten an idea of the whole plot and I basically told you what happened in the real life and you might be thinking that it's no use to watch the movie since you're already spoiled. Don't think so. Watch the movie right now! It's just so needed and awesome! It's not the plot of the movie that makes it amazing, it's the execution of it! So go watch it now !

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Details

  • Special: PTS Original: The Silent Forest
  • Country: Taiwan
  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: Jun 25, 2020
  • Aired On: Thursday
  • Duration: 1 hr. 44 min.
  • Content Rating: 13+ - Teens 13 or older

Statistics

  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 402 users)
  • Ranked: #1858
  • Popularity: #6870
  • Watchers: 1,393

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