Silence - 4.5 Stars
Scorsese’s labour of love is a masterpiece.
Two priests travel to Japan in an attempt to locate their mentor and propagate Catholicism.
This movie is fascinating, it’s emotional and spellbinding, and also very long. I have very little criticism for this film, but the length is ridiculous. It is great and I’m not quite sure what I’d cut, but something - it runs for 2 hours and 41 minutes! The other issue I have with it is accents, in particularly the Portuguese accents from Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver. Both frequently revert to their native (English and American) accents throughout the film. Though these slip ups are frequent, they don’t distract too much from the film.
I don’t understand why this hasn’t made more of an impact during awards season, it meets all the criteria for an Oscar movie. It tells a story, grounded in truth, that’s dark, emotional and has outstanding performances in it. The cinematography is phenomenal and the script is brilliant. The sound design and lack of score is masterful and something that can only be truly enjoyed in utter silence.
In addition to Garfield and Driver, Liam Neeson and Yôsuke Kubozuka also shine. The whole ensemble cast is great. I feel that this film will create discussion, due to the blindingly obvious parallels’ between what happened to Christians in Japan hundreds of years ago and what Donald Trump is trying to do to Muslims now. The film is gruelling though, not only due to length, but the scenes of torture are very unpleasant to watch.
Overall one of Scorsese’s better films of late and one not to miss.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas