Directed by and starring John Krasinski (Jim from the office) and his real life wife, British actress, Emily Blunt, A Quiet Place is a subtle masterpiece of story telling with hardly any dialog, echoing movies from the silent film era, and foreign cinema with subtitles. The viewer jumps right into a post-apocalyptic world, empty, devoid of sound. We see Krasinski’s little tribe as they take a dangerous day trip into what could be a small Midwest or New England town, foraging for what looks like antibiotics to administer to their ailing son (Noah Jupe).
They move lightly on bare feet, and don’t utter a single word. The family (The Abbotts) consists of Krasinski, Blunt, their hearing impaired daughter (Millicent Simmonds), the ill son (Jupe) and another boy, about four (Cade Woodward)–Blunt is showing the first signs of pregnancy.
There is a fatal gesture of goodwill by the sister to allow the youngest boy to keep a toy space shuttle. But the boy also walks off with the batteries for the shuttle.
As they walk out of the pharmacy, they pass by a bulletin board plastered with missing persons photos. Krasinski deftly uses non-verbal clues to move the story along and this is one of them as the viewer gets the sense that something terrible has happened and quite rapidly, we are introduced to the terrible.
As they approach a bridge, the youngest boy has inserted the batteries into the toy shuttle and hits the on switch. It lights up, makes a few blips and bleeps and then a blur races across the screen, as a horrified Krasinski rushes to grab his son, only to witness him become prey for an alien species that has descended upon Earth, devouring anything that makes a noise. Within the first ten minutes of the film, with no verbal dialog, we placed in the center of a haunted universe, one that contains a hidden beauty, hidden beneath the extra-terrestrial savagery, lurking, listening for any movement whatsoever.
Unlike The Road, with it’s bleak, dystopian view of the world, replete with cannibals, and the occasionally useable refuse of the world that was. A Quiet Place’s dystopian setting almost borders on magical. The family lives on a farm with grain silos and even rows of corn growing in the fields and while other mammals have suffered the same fate as humans, the rivers are abundant and flowing with fat trout. There’s even a scene where Krasinski and his oldest son duck under a waterfall, much like the same scene that Vigo Mortenson did with his son in The Road, but the roaring waterfall creates enough sound to drown out their voices where they can speak and even shout.
Their farm compound is lit by candles and the outside is network of lantern lights. At night, dinners begin with a circle of hands joined. In spite of the fact that they are being hunted by blind, super predators with enormous hearing capabilities and that any sound at any given moment would betray them, life with a lot less humans and distractions actually looks very livable and decidedly human. It is the human perspective that sets this movie apart from almost any other film in the last decade. However, if you are a Social Marxist or a reductive identitarian, A Quiet Place might make you a little uncomfortable.
First off, the family is, get ready for it, “White.” They’re silent, and can’t say a thing, lest the bloodthirsty aliens track them down and devour them. I suppose if you’re looking at this from a social deconstructionist perspective, you’ll hear a chorus of “mmmmmhmmmms” humming in the background.
Then there’s that pesky little detail that dad is a good guy, and that in fact he is actually there, a real dad. And not only that, but he’s also quietly (pun intended) a real hero. That’s not part of Hollywood’s new canon. A much more PC version would be a pregnant Blunt, with the kids, sans Krasinski, on her own to fend off the aliens, or perhaps joined forces with her macho gal pal from the farm down the road, ethnic gal pal scores bonus points. Nope, not A Quiet Place-—this is a traditional family trying to survive a horrible scourge that has been set upon them.
One of the things that’s clearly palpable is the chemistry between Blunt and Krasinski. They share their softness and emotional intimacy through looks and touch. There’s literally and figuratively no need for words between the two. Astrologically, Krasinski was born on October 20, 1979 and has a Libra Sun (27 degrees with a Balsamic Libra Moon 26 degrees). Whether it’s his character Jim from the Office or the fiercely responsible father in A Quiet Place, Krasinski has the ability to let things roll off his shoulders in a comical nonchalance or infinitesimal, kind-hearted patience. It’s a type of balsamic balancing that I think comes naturally to him. Krasinski has a unique ability to be memorable without drawing attention to himself, perhaps this is a function of a self-deprecating Balsamic Libra Moon.
His wife, Emily Blunt was born on 2/23/83, with a 4 degree Pisces, Sun. Her Pluto in Libra at 29 degrees, conjuncts Krasinski’s Sun at 27 Libra, and his Moon at 26 Libra. Her Sun is eight degrees off his MC at 26 Aqua and just six degrees away from Krasinski’s South Node in Pisces in the 10th House. This is their first film together and it will be interesting to see how this plays in his life as clearly, the vulnerability theme with the South Node in Pisces comes rushing through the screen. Also, one has to wonder if this is a re-animation of another life between the two, where love through silence might have been less supernatural and maybe more political/religious?
SUPER DUPER SPOILER ALERT
Ok, here it comes, the big astro money shot. There is a scene in the film, where a pesky nail, and not just any nail plays a role as memorable as a cast member. A two-inch nail rises up on a step and you just know that that nail is going to be a game changer. Blunt, who by this time is getting ready to give birth to her baby, impales her sole directly on the nail while headed to the basement to give birth. The audience internalizes both her pain and her silent scream. Can you say Chiron in Pisces? Not just the wounded healer but the wounded heel in a Pisces nonetheless. Now I doubt very much that Krasinski has any working knowledge of astrology, but to have this scene, in this movie, at this point in the celestial procession is beyond synchronous. Then, without divulging much more, let’s just say Chiron in Aries makes it’s presence known and it has to do with girls and guns, which is interesting as Chiron in Aries has just moved into conjunction with her Venus, also in Aries at zero degrees.
This is a rare film that evokes a spectrum of emotions, from terror, to fear, to magic, to heroism, to commitment to family and love. There’s a reason why critics are raving about it and it’s crushing it at the box office. I hope Hollywood is listening as intently as the aliens, so that we can experience a wave of more films filled with similar emotional content.