Silence: Movie Review
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Martin Scorsese's new film, Silence, has been 28 years in the making. And, it was well worth the wait.
In a word, Silence is triumphant. It's picture-perfect filmmaking grounded by a soul-stirring script.
Based on the award-winning historical novel by Shūsaku Endō, Silence is set in the 17th century and tells the story of two Jesuit priests who travel to Japan to find their mentor who's been captured and some say convinced to renounce his Christian faith.
It's an epic, yet personal, account that centers on Father Rodrigues (played by Andrew Garfield). His is a journey of great turmoil, faith, and, at times, doubt. It's his passion story. Rodrigues' trial, judgment, and punishment mirrors that of what Christ endured as he went to the Cross, with moving dialogue referencing Scripture and heartfelt, honest prayers throughout.
Known for taking violence, language, and sexual content to the extreme in his films, Scorsese (who is Roman Catholic) applied his talent as a master filmmaker on this occasion to offers audiences a never-seen-like-this-before look at the persecution of Christians in Japan.
Written with Jay Cocks, Scorsese explores the profound universal and religious themes of faith, doubt, forgiveness, betrayal, courage, and sacrifice. Admirably acted by Garfield, and his costars Adam Driver and Liam Neeson, Silence embodies the humanity in all of us. The struggle between faith and doubt isn't lost in this movie. It is center stage, which makes it all the more powerful.
At almost three hours long, Silence does not rush. It doesn't lag either. It's full of intense conflict and engaging drama. This must-see movie compels you to do some personal soul searching.
Rated R for some disturbing violent content, Silence contains gut-wrenching scenes. It does not minimalize or gloss over the persecution endured by thousands of Christians. And the images seen on screen are not easy to forget. Though there is less gore than might be expected from a Scorsese film, the suffering depicted (including a brutal beheading) is difficult to watch.
From its first moments to the ending credits (when Scorsese dedicates the film to "Japanese Christians and their pastors"), Silence honors the faithful. It affirms, that even though God's voice may fall silent, He does not abandon His children.
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