Silence (2016) – Review

When two Portuguese Jesuit’s insist on trekking to the treacherous land of Japan in an attempt to find their previous mentor, Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson) – a man rumoured to have abandoned his Catholic faith – they begin their dangerous quest to uncover answers, while stumbling across a countless number of difficulties along the way. A beautifully made film that will appeal to some, more than others.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Writers: Martin Scorsese, Jay Cocks
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson

When any movie boasts a runtime over little under three hours, you always wonder to yourself whether or not you’ll end up regretting the fact you sat down and invested such a big chunk of your time into a certain film, but fortunately, this was more than worth the long runtime and surprisingly didn’t feel as lengthy as originally advertised.

As one of the more thought-provoking and complex reviews on this website, it was at times challenging to watch but ultimately a very impressive and well-made flick that at times boasting some spectacular scenery and cinematography. In terms of the story and plot, it was pretty straight forward and easy to comprehend, albeit at times baffling, especially when it came to some of the decisions made by the key characters involved.

The film emphasised and followed the journey of the two lead men, Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Garupe (Adam Driver). Their mission to unearth the truth behind the rumours that their previous mentor had been captured (thus abandoning his faith), was documented and it truly was a haunting and largely dangerous journey that involved sorrow, pain, large amounts of frustration and much more.

To the credit of the filmmakers, one or two brutal scenes arrived right on cue. Just as the movie was simmering down and lulling the viewer into a false sense of security, brutality surfaced and made you question the motives behind the characters – and at times their sanity. Ultimately the filmmakers did a brilliant job of demonstrating and highlighting the torture suffered by those that stood for what they believed in, in a time when nothing was off limits.

In regard to performances of those cast, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver took up a large amount of the onscreen presence and impressed throughout – even if some questioned the accents that both were attempting to pull off while playing Portuguese nationals. Liam Neeson was also present, as Father Ferreira, and seemed convincing when called upon, especially later on in the film.

With such a religious theme, this flick definitely isn’t for everybody, but if you’re able to leave your own personal beliefs behind for the entire runtime, then you may enjoy it, otherwise you may want to give this one a miss.

“I pray but I am lost. Am I just praying to silence?”

Rodrigues – Silence

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