Silence

Silence

(2016)

Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson and Tadanobu Asano (Thor) star in Martin Scorsese's historical drama, based on the novel by Shûsaku Endô. The story follows two Jesuit Portuguese Catholic priests who, travelling in 17th century Japan to spread the teachings of Christianity, face violent persecution.... More

Scorsese has been developing this project since the early '90s and through the years, the likes of Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio del Toro have been attached to star.Hide

Flicks Review

As a lapsed Catholic I’m always keen on a tale that documents the folly, arrogance and optimism of religious conversion and missionary zeal, especially in a colonial setting. Also, I like Japanese food and Scorsese pictures so what could go wrong?... More

Not much as it turns out, though apart from a tea ceremony and some less than desirable snacks things are pretty grim on the catering front. There is, however, a smorgasbord of torture techniques to enjoy as this epic unfurls, a crucifixion in the surf amongst them. But 17th century Japan wasn’t fertile ground for Jesus, and in this film, the specific set of skills possessed by Liam Neeson’s Father Ferreira doesn’t include successfully converting more than a few hundred souls before losing his religion.

Sent to rescue him from the heathens and his apostasy are two fervent young Jesuit priests, played with naïve intensity by Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-man) and Adam Driver (Girls), but the show is well and truly stolen by the wonderful Issei Ogata as the Samurai inquisitor, possibly the most reasonable torturer in cinema history. Through him we get closer to understanding why the Japanese had no truck for this introduced spiritual species. He’s also the only flicker of comedy in this slow moving religious western.

Scorsese’s take on Shūsaku Endō ‘s 1966 novel basks in the rhythm and rhyme of Catholicism and doesn’t bludgeon with sermon. But nor does it have the charm or power of his best work. It reminded me of a rosary: repetitive, a little boring, but also calming and mesmerising. It’s a punishing journey to be sure, but if you can handle a marathon, that’s also the beauty of it. You’ll want it to end, until it does.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

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BY JackWallace superstar

Martin Scorsese is probably my favourite director. I've loved a lot of his films, but Silence was a real disappointment. I appreciate the craftsmanship, it's a beautiful looking film. The cinematography is amazing. But this was about as exciting as watching paint dry. It's 161 minutes long and extremely slow paced and repetitive. There's a scene where Andrew Garfield looks into a puddle of water and sees the face of Jesus and it looked terrible. I really found Silence hard to sit through and... More wouldn't recommend it even if you're a Scorsese fan. Grade: CHide


The Press Reviews

  • Scorsese has hit the rare heights of Ingmar Bergman and Carl Theodor Dreyer, artists who found in religion a battleground that often left the strongest in tatters. It's a movie desperately needed at a moment when bluster must yield to self-reflection. Full Review

  • ...of his [Scorsese's] explicitly religious dramas, specifically including Kundun and The Last Temptation of Christ, this is, by a considerable distance, the most eloquent and coherent. Full Review

  • A taxing film that will not only hold up to multiple viewings, but practically demands them. Full Review

  • With ambition and reach, and often a real dramatic grandeur, Scorsese's film has addressed the imperial crisis of Christian evangelists with stamina, seriousness and a gusto comparable to David Lean's. Full Review

  • Less showy than The Last Temptation Of Christ, more gripping than Kundun, the third part of Scorsese's unofficial 'religious' trilogy is beautifully made, staggeringly ambitious and utterly compelling. Full Review

  • This anguished, contemplative new movie, which [Scorsese] spent nearly three decades coaxing into celluloid reality, carries the weight of a career summation. Full Review

  • There's a crushing lack of urgency to this story and its telling, perhaps because it took Mr. Scorsese, who wrote the script with Jay Cocks, so long to make "Silence." Full Review

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