A masterpiece of cinematography
Martin Scorsese did it again. Silence is a masterpiece, a historical epos about one of the more interesting stories of Christianism. It has been a passion project for Scorsese and you feel it. It took him more than 40 years to get it to our screens, to get enough funding, but I do think it helped him tell the story and tell it the way he wanted us to experience it.
And experience it you do. It is not an uplifting story or a movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat. It is a story about suffering, about how far a human being can go before he cracks under pressure, how much one single being can and will endure for his faith and that of others. It is something you experience, that washes over you, that takes a grip on you and just doesn’t let go.
Though the story at some moments seems very long, tedious and drags a little bit, it is necessary I feel to have this sense of loneliness and of the duration of everything Father Rodrigues goes through. I don’t think that we have any idea how long they have lived there in hiding, trying to pass Christianism to the Japanese. Trying to help them find the faith and believe in it. I don’t think we know how much they suffered in Japan, a country which doesn’t care for this new and strange religion and at that moment sees it as a burden. It is long. It is gripping. It is one of a kind.
This entire movie is being carried by Andrew Garfield. The different movie posters and trailers make it seem as if Liam Neeson is the central actor of this movie, but we don’t see him that much. It does revolve around finding him in Japan, but it’s in the end not his story. We follow Father Rodrigues (played by Andrew Garfield) in his journey through the harsh country. Andrew did his best performance in this film. He shows his entire range of acting here, going from happiness to sadness. You feel with him and I do think that without him this film would have had less of an impact on me.
I also greatly admire the Japanese actors. I don’t know much of them, but they are an important part of the story. Issei Ogata is exquisite as the Inquisitor Inoue who pursues the fathers through the country and tries to keep Christianity out of his country. Mokichi is another important character in Silence. Played by Shin’ya Tsukamoto, Mokichi gives us some of the more light moments of the movie. Even making us laugh now and then.
I could go on and on. This is a masterpiece and Martin Scorsese at his best. Don’t go in expecting to see a movie. You’ll go watch a film. One that will stay with you and make you think and make you feel all the misery that those Fathers and the Christians went through in Japan. I can only admire Martin Scorsese and his perseverance going through with this movie and giving us this tale, that I think no other director would or could give us this epic tale.
8,5 / 10 stars.