Director: Mennan Yapo

2004. English subtitles. Colour. Dolby digital stereo. 95 min.

Making a big splash in his feature directing debut, writer-director Mennan Yapo displays a con?dent hand in this absorbing crime thriller. Neither a cold analytical policier nor another funny hit-man tale, Yapo’s ?lm enters the mind of a dispassionate assassin whose chance encounter with a fragile woman sends shock waves of humanity coursing through his normally detached life. Hired killer Viktor (Joachim Krol) ?nds himself falling in love with Nina (Nadja Uhl) after ?nding her in bed with one of his victims. Both characters keep their emotions in a freezer, but their quick recognition of a soul-mate creates dangerous problems for Viktor, whose line of work is based on the ability to function with the utmost detachment. Although the thriller elements keep interest levels high, what’s most fascinating about Soundless is the psychological depth of the leading characters as created by Yapo and scriptwriter Lars-Olaf Beier (a ?lm critic for Der Spiegel). Playing against type, Krol (a familiar face from Tom Tykwer movies) is superb as the shut-down assassin with a painful past. Rising talent Uhl matches Krol’s style beautifully as she ?eshes out the role of the love-starved woman.

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