Bond of Silence -- TV Review

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One learns over the years not to expect too much from a Lifetime original movie.

Invariably, you have your injured (psychically or physically) women who strike back (bravely, successfully) and convey an uplifting message of endurance, hope and closure. It's not real life -- it's Lifetime.

That said, "Bond of Silence" is pretty good. The female-centric plot centers on a husband (David Cubitt) who tries to calm down a noisy New Year's Eve party thrown by overprivileged teens and ends up dead. Some of the teens know what happened, but they ain't talking.
Cue formula.

Wife Katy McIntosh (Kim Raver) gets her hands into the investigation when she feels the police are dragging their feet, and her determination puts her at odds with many in her seaside town of Rees Harbor.

Soon, anyone who has watched TV can see where this is going, but the acting is solid and even compelling. Raver is steely and empathetic, and Haley Ramm as partygoer Jordan calls to mind the wide-eyed clarity of Evan Rachel Wood. Also welcome is the lack of blanket deification of every woman; here, the most wicked and courageous characters are all female.

There are no tricks up "Bond's" sleeve. The story is as straightforward as any based-on-real-events story can be: Murder happens, investigation stalls, Katy to the rescue, end credits. But then comes an epilogue, and it's hard not to wish that "Bond's" writers had gone further. Tacked-on video footage shows how the real-life Katy and the confessed killer reconciled and now go out on speaking tours, talking to teens about the dangers of excessive alcohol and drug use, an addition that could have been used to give the story a little narrative perspective. Instead, the literalness of the film seems to sap it of its point. If these writers had been journalists, we'd say they buried the lead.

A little more creativity might have made "Bond" not just a watchable Lifetime film but a generally good one. As it stands, it's hard not to look back and sense that "Law & Order's" Detective Lennie Briscoe could have sewn up this one in about 20 minutes.

Airdate: 9-11 p.m. Monday, Aug. 23 (Lifetime)
Production: Jaffe-Braunstein Entertainment, Lifetime Television
Cast: Kim Raver, Greg Grunberg, Charlie McDermott, Haley Ramm, David Cubitt
Executive producers: Ted Bauman, Patricia Clifford, Howard Braunstein
Writers: BD Young, Edithe Swensen, Teena Booth
Producer: Ted Bauman
Director: Peter Werner
Director of photography: Attila Szalay
Production designer: Eric Fraser
Costume designer: Susan DeLaval
Casting: Molly Lopata, Coreen Mayers, Heike Brandstatter
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