Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Tadanobu Asano, Liam Neeson, Ciarán Hinds, Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver
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Kyle T. (KingKong) from KINSTON, NC
Reviewed on 6/21/2018...
"The price for your glory is their suffering."
Martin Scorsese's new drama was not designed to be easy on its audience. Silence is a dark tale of violence and persecution that raises many questions about faith and martyrdom, but doesn't pretend to have the answers to those questions. This is what makes the film so profound. Those that consider themselves very religious will find sympathy and outrage at the circumstances displayed. Those that are not religiously-minded, or that consider themselves atheist or agnostic, will find it unfathomable that people can treat each other in such ways over religion-or that people would be willing to die for their god. The question at the core of Silence is "While you may be willing to die for your faith, are you willing to allow others to die for it?" Silence does not pretend that there is a right or wrong answer to this question, instead it gives you the results of the decisions made by these specific characters-and allows you to ponder and decide for yourself what right and wrong is, or you may decide there isn't a right or wrong. Either way, I don't believe anyone can leave a viewing of Silence unaffected.
As a movie, I went in a little worried. I had read that it was long and deliberately slow. But I didn't find this to be the case. While it is long, at 2 hours and 41 minutes, I did not feel that the film dragged, nor did it feel like it was too long. In fact, I was so enthralled by the characters on screen, I didn't really want it to end. At the same time, as much hardship is displayed on screen, the film needed to end-before it induced some semi-permanent depression on its audience. I guess what I'm saying is, if you're a fan of mature, thought-provoking movie-making, don't let the lengthy run-time scare you. Long-time Scorsese-collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker proves once again why she is one of the best film editors in the business. She's been doing this for fifty years now (according to IMDB), and Silence is one of her finest works yet. Not a single scene feels unnecessary or tacked on. Even though she already has three wins (The Departed, The Aviator, Raging Bull), I hope the Oscars don't leave her out this year.
As for the cast, there's several award-worthy performances on display. Andrew Garfield is having quite the year. He's already been Golden Globe-nominated for his excellent turn in Hacksaw Ridge. But I believe his work in Silence is even better. His character has to deal with an intense crisis of faith, and it has to feel real or the film simply wouldn't work. Garfield makes this look effortless. The supporting actors, including Adam Driver, Liam Neeson and Ciarán Hinds all bring their A-game. The Japanese cast is also top-notch. Yoshi Oida, Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Yôsuke Kubozuka and Tadanobu Asano are all memorable. It's Issei Ogata as Inoue the Inquisitor who I really wish was in the awards conversation this year. His performance is humorous at times, bordering on just a bit hammy, but his character is so evil that these things only make him more despicable.
The film is also a gorgeous production. Rodrigo Prieto's cinematography is stunning. The costume and set designs give you a real sense of time and place, transporting you to world few films have gone and even fewer have made look this authentic.
As for the star behind the camera, Martin Scorsese is one of those directors we've come to hold to a higher standard. Like Steven Spielberg or Francis Ford Coppola, when their films aren't great it is more noticeable-simply because these filmmakers have given us so many classics we hold in high esteem. Thankfully, Scorsese does not disappoint. At 74, he's delivered one of his most technically ambitious features. While Silence may not be as entertaining or rewatchable as some of his past efforts, it is certainly one his most thought-provoking and important films. Movie-goers also shouldn't let the "Scorsese-brand" worry them as far as the film's content. The film does feature some very intense scenes of torture and violence. But there is nothing in the way of profanity nor sex/nudity.
Those going to Silence looking to be entertained may be disappointed. Not all films are designed to entertain. Some are made to promote thoughts and conversations about important subjects like religion, war and prejudice. Films like Schindler's List and Apocalypse Now come to mind; movies that you may not see over and over again-but that everyone should watch at least once. Silence may be difficult to watch at times. It can be faith-assuring or faith-shaking depending on what you take away from it. But like those other films I mentioned, it is a film everyone should see at least once.