Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano, Ciarán Hands, Issei Ogata, Shin’ya Tsukamoto, Yoshi Oida, Yôsuke Kubozuka, Kaoru Endô, Diego Calderón, Rafael Kading, Matthew Blake, Benoit Masse, Tetsuya Igawa, Shi Liang, Béla Baptiste, Asuka Kurosawa.
So much history is yet truly to be filmed, so many stories, so many acts of heroism, of despair and pivotal moments throughout the times have yet to make it to the screen for it be acknowledged as kind of Universal truth, yet it seems the more we know, the more we have lost, the less there is defining us in the present day.
Silence is arguably one of Martin Scorsese’s finest offerings to the world of cinema and yet it has the unnerving ability to leave your soul hanging in desperation, regardless of whether you believe in a higher power or other plane of existence or not, the soul is wrenched from pillar to post as you cling on in hope that one person’s belief is enough to see them through the ordeals of pain and torture set before them.
It could be argued that the period of Japanese history discussed in the film, the isolation in their thinking that saw them, rightly or wrongly, reject another’s view point on the word of any God is very much in tandem with their perceived outlook during World War Two, the barbarity of bending people to their will is shocking but no less shocking than some of the inhumane acts that have been put down in history’s despicable ledger since.
Being a man of God in such times is hard to imagine, for the Jesuit priests who braved going to hostile places such as Japan, who spread their version of the truth they must be commended for their thought, their deeds, if not their belief in changing someone else’s culture, even if it was done with the best intentions.
For Martin Scorsese, silence is golden, a piece of magnificent cinema in which Andrew Garfield excels on screen once more, His portrayal of Rodrigues is heartening, he gives hope in his role where possibly there might have been none and alongside Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano and Shin’ya Tsukamoto, he brings the tortured soul deprived its of its voice fully out in the open; an astonishing feat in everyday life, let alone be captured so well on film.
Silence is a dramatic piece of cinema which stands aside all of Scorsese’s masterpieces and one not to be missed.
Ian D. Hall