Written, Directed and Edited by Davo Hardy, A SILENT AGREEMENT is the first Australian feature film to showcase Auslan (Australian Sign Language).
Hardy plays a sensitive writer named Reuben, who grapples with a speech impediment as his profoundly deaf boyfriend Derek (played wonderfully by Joshua Sealy), provides strategies to restore his confidence.
Upon finding the courage to submit an autobiographical screenplay to his favorite actor (played by Paul Mercurio), the new industry mentor betrays Reuben and claims the ideas as his own. Reuben must use his new-found assertion to proactively find catharsis and personal justice. A stand out performance by Mercurio as Gareth. He steps into Gareth’s persona and mental state with a beautiful nuanced performance.
There are many beauties to this film. The film deals with those who live with disabilities – day in and day out. It also deals with the LGBT community. Rather than conform to roles of the traditional leading man and leading lady – Hardy makes this love story revolve around two gay men. The script and story encompass a simplicity which makes it feel personal. Hardy writes a passionate story – with equally passionate performances by an ensemble cast that is pitch perfect. Hardy’s portrayal is sensitive – yet driven. You feel as if you know him.
It is a story of love, betrayal, and redemption. It deals with fitting into a society that so easily points out our differences. It goes on a journey to find acceptance for who we really are – while being true to ourselves.
This film also speaks out loud and clear to independent filmmakers – who are told much too often that their stories can’t obtain funding or achieve success without having big name celebrities attached to the project. Hardy speaks to those artists who so desperately want to tell their story. Artists who want to believe the best in people – even when we see the red flags are right in front of them.
The film felt too long at 2:13. The film could have been edited and made tighter in places to move the story forward with better momentum. A pivotal moment towards the end of the film changes everything and will take the film in an unexpected direction. Music in the film (Jamie Murgatroyd) gives a wonderful flavor.
Hardy’s film takes a look at topics not often tackled in modern day cinema. He is a filmmaker with a powerful message that can resonate within all of us – and touch us somewhere in our conscience – and, hopefully, in our hearts.