MOVIE REVIEW: “Silence” stars Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge, The Social Network), Adam Driver (Marriage Story, Paterson), Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List, The Grey), Issei Ogata (The Sun, Yi Yi), Yôsuke Kubozuka (Go, Samurai Resurrection), and Ciaràn Hinds (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, The Woman in Black). It is directed by Martin Scorsese (The Irishman, Shutter Island), who wrote the screenplay with Jay Cocks (The Age of Innocence, Gangs of New York). Based on a novel, this film follows two Jesuit priests who travel to hostile Japan in an attempt to locate their mentor, who they have been informed has committed apostasy.
I can’t believe this one flew by my head back in 2016. Figures that it wouldn’t be heavily promoted. Even with Scorsese at the helm, a feature dealing with the Christian faith is sure to not get a lot of promotion (or maybe it did and I just didn’t notice). “Silence” has to be one of the best movies to touch on faith in recent years. Period. It’s been a long time since I have been shook by a film, to the point where it leaves me lying in bed, awake for almost half an hour thinking about it. As you all may or may not know, I’m a believer in Christ, and have sought to know Him better as well as His teachings. But “Silence” shed light on an aspect of faith that I haven’t really paid much mind to. It prompted the question of “would you denounce Jesus to save the lives of other Christians?” Upon discovering this, my mind instantly jumped to “no.” To deny God is for Jesus to deny you before Him… but then the film unfolded further, and by the end I walked away with a different perspective. I won’t dive into the theological aspect of this because I want those of you who haven’t seen it to garner your own thoughts on the matter. However, I will say that you will not be the same after watching it. And for a film to poke my mind like this, it has to be deserving of some praise. Scorsese and his team pieced together a beautiful film. The performances are great, cinematography is wonderful, and the locations are stunning. Of course, in pure Scorsese fashion, the story spans almost three hours, but it doesn’t feel that way in pace (thank goodness). There’s enough in this adventure to keep you invested, granted to few moments where things slow down. For some it can be a slow burn, certainly with the aspect of torture being implemented. The film, while held back most times in regards to how much they show, is brutal. By the end, you are about as broken as Father Rodrigues’ spirit. And with a final image that gives hope, you can’t ask for anything better from a man who made “The Wolf of Wall Street” a few years prior. I’m sure for those of you who are older and watch this, the themes that are explored may not hit you as hard as it hit me. We are all at different points of this path of life; for me, this film came at the right time for me to severely contemplate. I won’t say you will be as affected as me, but I will say it is a great feature that handles its subject well, never putting characters on a pedestal, but rather showing how broken these people can be (and become) in trying to spread the gospel in such a hostile environment. Hats off to Scorsese and co. for creating such a thought-provoking experience. FINAL SCORE: 94%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: