Silence is the screen adaptation of the epic Japanese novel written by Shūsaku Endō. It is widely regarded as being one of the twentieth century's finest novels. Set in seventeenth-century Japan, it was a period when Christians were violently persecuted. Two Jesuit priests travel from Portugal to find their colleague who has renounced God. The journey and hostility they face challenges their beliefs further than they could ever have expected. The strength of their faith is tested through the power of Silence.
Martin Scorsese is one of the biggest talents in modern cinematic history. He has created some amazing films like Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Casino and is still pushing out great material. In 2013 he finished The Wolf of Wall Street, a wild tale of extremes. So once that film was finished Scorsese looked for a more personal project – Silence.
This is a stunningly shot film and is instantly recognisable as a Scorsese movie. The intensity that builds as the story moves forward becomes almost unbearable. Scorsese really flexes his professional muscle here, getting the very best of the lead cast members. Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver play the two Jesuit priests in search of their mentor. Both actors provide powerful performances but it is Driver that gives the most convincing performance of the two. Liam Neeson is brilliant playing Cristóvão Ferreira, providing some impressive verbal sparring sessions.
As a big Scorsese fan, I really wanted to like this film and could not wait to see it when it came out. However, for me, the whole experience felt as painful as the journey experienced by the priests in the story.
Overall, Silence is a must watch if you want to complete your Scorsese catalogue. Just be ready for an exhausting journey that challenges you in many ways.