Movie Review: SILENCE
Star Rating (out of five): ***
SILENCE is a tale of trial and tribulation. It reflects on themes of human nature in a narrative built around faith – seen through the eyes of an ambitious Jesuit priest who ventures into Japan with his associate. Their mission is to find their lost mentor and to spread God’s word. Soon the priests find their morals challenged by the Japanese government’s strict and violent opposition to Christianity. Martin Scorsese has worked nearly 3 decades towards making this film. Was it worth it?
An impressive work of art, SILENCE has great production value. The convincing world created here will immerse you. The overall story is interesting as an intriguing study of the conflict between faith and religion. The narrative gradually plays out how long your faith can endure in a world devoid of hope. Andrew Garfield, the lead star, gives a decent performance of the story’s stellar lead character. He carries the movie well, for the most part. The most impressive performances, however come from the brilliant Liam Neeson as the lost mentor and Issey Ogata as the Grand Inquisitor.
Holy hell, this is the longest movie I’ve seen all year! I came close to falling asleep too many times. Once the second act starts this movie becomes really, really boring. The scenes are drawn out often, making you wonder if Scorsese wanted to test his viewers’ faith by making them fight sleep. Judging that these scenes are full of dialogue, they don’t really work. The dialogue is sometimes too spelled out and not very interesting. Things get redundant quite a bit – kinda like when you’re binge-watching a series with too many recaps. Speaking of redundancy, many scenes are too similar to one another. Another key problem in the story is that the biggest reveal – the fate of the missing mentor (Liam Neeson) is given away far too early. Halfway into the second act I was able to predict the ending.
SILENCE tells a tale that’s far too drawn out to keep the viewer immersed. It is an interesting story that isn’t told very well.
Movie Review by Sam Silber