Sunday, January 15, 2017


Movie Name: Silence
Year of Release: 2016
Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Ciaran Hinds, Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Tadanobu Asano, Issei Ogata, Yoshi Oida
Genre: Drama, History
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
View Trailer Here

Celebrated director Martin Scorsese is back, following the commercial and critical success of "The Wolf of Wall Street". "Silence" is a dramatic change of pace, and is a passion project for the director, who has tried to get the project done since the 90s. The film is an adaptation of the book by Shusaku Endo, and follows the story of two Portuguese Jesuit priests who go to Japan in the 17th century, in pursuit of their mentor, Father Ferreira. Both Father Rodrigues and Father Garrpe, are aware that Ferreira has been missing for quite some time and that catholicism has been persecuted with violence in Japan. They embark on the mission to find the whereabouts of their mentor, which lands them initially under the protection of a small village. As their stay continues, so does the joy they provide to the locals, but also the sense of danger that comes from them hosting and protecting them. As their challenges escalate, Father Rodrigues in particular, is put through trials that test the strength of his faith.
"Silence" is a film of great beauty and austerity. It's a piece of work driven by an artist that has always paid close attention to how religion and the concept of faith are represented in his features (another example of this theme can be viewed in the beautiful "The Last Temptation of Christ"). It's interesting that the depiction of faith onscreen is usually associated with the trials, sacrifices and tribulations of those who have it, versus the ones who oppose it and want to eradicate it. This particular story does go through those motions, but it investigates it on a much deeper level. This feature showcases how the beliefs of a young priest slowly get butchered by the constant torment of a society that won't allow for the co-existence of different beliefs. It's an interesting insight into the Japanese society of the 17th century, with a lot of bridges to the persecutions and intolerance that exist to this day. The film does not contain sweeping musical moments that help define instances - it's a film that is anchored on actions, on the canvas that it paints, with wonderful actors to convey its message. Andrew Garfield excels in his role, as does Liam Neeson and Shin'ya Tsukamoto. The cinematography from Rodrigo Prieto is stunning as is the production and costume design from Dante Ferretti. Another great film from a tremendous voice in the American cinema.