Silence Review By: Sean Harrison

            Silence is the latest film directed by Martin Scorsese, so it’s hard not to have high hopes for this movie going in.  In addition, it’s based on titular novel by Shusaku Endo and is in fact the second movie based on the novel (having previously been turned into a movie by Masahiro Shinoda, back in 1971).  Overall, this movie counts as one of the better movies in Scorsese’s illustrious filmography. There are many reasons for this, including the casts which is headlined by Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver.  The rest of the cast is rounded out by Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano, Ciaran Hinds, Issey Ogata, Shinya Tsukamoto and Yosuke Kubozuka.  Beyond this, the story is also worth discussing.

For instance, it begins when Father Ferreira (Neeson), a jesuit padre, renounces his Christian beliefs after being tortured.  Afterwards, his two protégés (Garfield and Driver) travel to Japan to see why Father Ferreira committed apostasy.  Once they arrive, they are taken in by a local village.  While hiding there, they discover Christians are being tortured and executed for their beliefs if they are unwilling to give said beliefs up.  Also, there are 200 pieces of silver placed on the head of any Christian with an additional 300 for a priest.    Ultimately, it is discovered that they are hiding out in the village and four villagers are taken hostage (where all but one of them are executed).  After this, both priests separate and Garfield’s character gets captured.  Later on, it is discovered that Driver’s character has also been taken captive.  He dies shortly afterwards.  Meanwhile, Garfield is subjected to starvation and torture until he is willing to follow in Father Ferreira’s footsteps.

As you can see by my rough summary, this is not the type of movie you are likely going to want to watch repeatedly.  Don’t get me wrong though, it is an excellent movie.  It’s the latest film from one of the greatest filmmakers of all time who is obviously at the top of his game.  Likewise, as I mentioned before, the casting was extremely good.  Garfield was especially good, as Kubozuka who seemed to be doing his best Toshiro Mifune impression.  In fact, from a technical point of view there really was nothing wrong with this movie (actually being among Scorsese’s most beautifully shot movies).  If anything, the only drawback with this movie is that it is an emotionally draining movie.  It’s not necessarily the saddest movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s definitely not a movie that exists to make the audience feels good.  It exists to make you experience it.  I’d recommend everyone watch it; just know what you’re getting in to before you do.

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