Entertainment, Review

Review: Martin Scorsese’s Silence

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By Pierangelly Del Rio


Silence follows the story of two Jesuit missionaries, Father Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and father Garupe (Adam Driver) who travel incognito to Japan in the midst of the 17th-century religious persecutions. In a land in which being Catholic equals execution, Rodrigues and Garupe risk their lives to discover the faith of their mentor Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson), who has supposedly renounced his faith in order to avoid punishment. Along the way, the missionaries try to bring some hope to the remaining Japanese Catholics who worship in secret and live in constant fear.

Scorsese’s adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel is a religious epic packed with beautiful scenery, an amazing musical score and explicit violence, which embodies the cruelty of the two decades of Jesuit execution in Japan.  The Father’s dangerous mission becomes a battle for survival, in which they must escape the dreadful Japanese inquisition and learn who to trust. More than that, Silence is a story about morality and personal beliefs. The contrast between the Japanese and European faith creates conflict throughout its lengthy run time,  and causes Father Rodrigues to question the significance of the Jesuit mission in a land in which such ideologies have no place. As time passes, after witnessing brutality after brutality, the father’s faith wears out and God’s silence becomes stronger.

As a contrast to recent Scorsese’s productions, such as The Wolf of Wall Street and Shutter Island, Silence is slow paced and perhaps complex for some to follow. Its value, however, lies in its deep philosophical sentiment which explores moral dilemmas and human nature. The film is also rich in stellar performances from Driver, Neeson, and Garfield, and the latter carries the weight of the story. Garfield portrays a character who functions as some kind of messiah, and attempts to remain strong through a series of dreadful events that continue to test his faith.

 


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Pierangelly Del Rio

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