Silence - Movie Review
Matthew Brady - wrote on 01/25/17
"Silence is the loudest cry for love". - SilentDawn
The story of "Silence" fellows two Jesuit priests, Sebastião Rodrigues and Francis Garrpe, who travel to seventeenth century Japan which has, under the Tokugawa shogunate, banned Catholicism and almost all foreign contact.
This was tough. Seriously, this was the hardest thing I've ever digest in terms of progressing my thoughts. It's so mesmerizing with so many things going on at once that it takes awhile to sink in. Gets you thinking on a subject that you wasn't originally interested in. A movie that leaves you completely paralyze of reacting or forming a sentence to describe what you just witness. But after four days of letting it sink in, it has been settled.
What I love about "Silence" is that it doesn't judge-the potential arrogance & imperialism of missionary work. It doesn't make you pick aside to root for, but understand where both sides are coming from. It's up to you - the audience, to decide if their actions are right or wrong.
"Silence" is easily one of best movies of 2016. A film in which you get so involved of whats going on that it stays with you long after it's over. It's one of Scorsese's finest achievement of his career.
For almost 30 years, Scorsese has been trying to get Shusaku Endo novel "Silence" made. You see, Scorsese grow up Catholic and had desire to become a priest at a young age. So the book deeply moved him in a personal way. But the reason why he couldn't get it made sooner is because he wasn't ready to take on anything like this. To him, this was something big and challenging. So all these years he tried to really think how a story like this could be cinematic.
Martin Scorsese is my favorite director and every movie he makes, I'm there. I haven't seen all of his movies yet, but those are for a special time. Now people have ask the question of who's the best living director working today - It's Scorsese all the way. While Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott will always be legends, but Marty doesn't just make a movie to stay relevant or just do it for the sake of it. You can see the passion behind every film his done. "Silence" is no different. It's a deeply spiritual film and has multiple layers of meanings. Marty reminds us of that old cinema we love.
Andrew Garfield was absolutely fantastic in this movie. Garfield once again proves that he's a great actor. His performance was emotionally striking and he nailed the character down. It a real shame that he got nominated for "Hacksaw Ridge" and not this. I thought he was far better in "Silence". Because he starts off 100% dedicated to his own faith, but towards the end he's a complete wreck. The challenges he had to face was more compelling and soul crushing to watch.
Adam Driver and Liam Neeson were also great. Driver performance was natural and tremendous that you see the deep passion he's character had for faith. Neeson doesn't have a big role, but his presence on the story is immense and unique.
All the Japanese cast were all stellar. Especially Issei Ogata and Yôsuke Kubozuka. Those two were the stand outs for me. Ogata character can be best describe as Christoph Waltz from "Inglourious Basterds", as he's both comedic and menacing. Kubozuka broke my heart a couple of times, as the cowardly Christian who keeps letting others down many times. But when he begs for forgiveness, it's hard not to fall into that routine again.
The score for this movie is quite interesting. I say "interesting" because there's not much music, but sounds. Nature sounds you would here in the Forrest or a swamp. It's a score that creeps into my head and psychological effects you.
Rodrigo Prieto cinematography in this movie was just flawless. The look of Japan has this foggy, warmth, and damp look to it. Prieto captures the cruelty and the hidden beauty to it.
Unfortunately, this isn't going to be for everyone and I've already seen different sides. It ask questions more than answers. Quite honestly, I glad it dose. As it opens to discussions with others and gets you talking. You know, like a movie should.
And yes it may be frustrating for some, but I think that's the right reaction that a movie like this should have. A movie that puts you in the shoes of what the characters going through and their main struggles. If all that is perfectly captured on film, it's less than a negative, but more of an achievement. For a 2 hour and 41 minute movie, it never dragged for me.
Overall rating: "Silence" touches every rope of your mind and soul. This is one of those movies which may not be appreciated until many years later, for those who can grasp the true heart and meaning of this film, it's a transcendent experience. I was captivated from start to finish.