Originally Published on Salty Popcorn - You Can Find Several Other Reviews By Jack Dignan Here As Well
Based on the acclaimed, yet supposedly un-adaptable novel by Shûsaku Endô, SILENCE is a story of faith. We begin by learning of a Jesuit priest, Ferreira (Liam Neeson), who has surrendered the faith while over in Japan. Ferreira was once held in high regard, mentoring the two young priests who serve as our protagonists, Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Garupe (Adam Driver). Upon hearing the news, they insist on travelling to Japan and searching for him, refusing to believe that what they’re hearing is true. With permission granted by Father Valignano (Ciarán Hinds), the two ambitious priests begin their treacherous journey.
When the film came to a close and the credits begun, aided by the sound of silence, I had to take a moment to soak in everything I’d just witnessed. I sat in my seat simply thinking about everything, and I couldn’t help but say to myself “wow.” SILENCE a film so powerful and emotional that it impacted me in countless different ways. Few films are able to knock me out of my seat quite like SILENCE did. Scorsese is the best for good reason, and when this had finished, I was stunned. It’s an absolutely gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous movie that deserves every bit of awards recognition it can get.
As the film is set during a time where Catholicism was outlawed in Japan, what we get is a difficult to watch, lengthy and unforgettable tale. The Jesuits in the film are put through hell time and time again, their commitment to their faith never going without punishment. It’s a tale with the power to put you to tears, the storytelling skill on display only capable of being created by a master of the art of filmmaking. There are no other films out there quite like SILENCE. The adventure that takes place is one that’s truly unforgettable. Oh, and that ending… oh my. That ending…
Not only did they both starve themselves to have a much skinnier physique, Garfield (and hey, maybe even Driver too) was running on just a few hours of sleep day after day. He’s discussed in length his experiences with this, as well as his experiences finding faith and being able to really get inside the mind of his character. He’s described it as a challenging process that’s ultimately worthwhile in order to find faith in all walks of life. The interviews are fascinating, and I highly recommend checking them out to see how dedicated he was to this movie. It pays off, as this is his best performance to date.
SILENCE is a film that will hit hard for all who watch, no matter what your religious views are. It’s a beautiful, yet harrowing movie-going experience that’s a lengthy, difficult viewing, but one that’s worthwhile. I love it. Martin Scorsese has done it again. SILENCE is one of his more unforgettable movies.
You May Also Like: