Martin Scorsese’s Silence tells the story of two Christian missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they
travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) — at a time when Christianity was outlawed and their presence forbidden. The celebrated
director’s 28-year journey to bring Shusaku Endo’s 1966 acclaimed novel to life will be in cinemas on New Year’s Day.
A stunning exploration of faith, it tells the story of two 17th century
Portuguese Jesuit priests (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who travel to
Japan to find their mentor who has apparently committed apostasy after
being tortured. There they find the remaining native Christians have to
hide their faith for fear of prosecution and torture.
Lacking the excess of Scorsese's previous film The Wolf on Wall Street,
this is a more austere and sombre project but one told with far more
Strikingly shot and directed, it's not always an easy watch as the camera
doesn't shy away from the lengths the Japanese would go to force Christians
to denounce their faith but it's an essential and powerful film all the
Andrew Garfield is exceptional in the lead role with excellent support from
Adam Driver as his fellow priest. Other cast members include Liam Neeson as
the missing mentor, Tadanobu Asano as an interpreter, Issey Ogaya as the
Inquisitor and Shinya Tsukamoto as a Christian villager.
It's possibly worth pointing out that those drawn to the film by the
presence of Liam Neeson should know that, after a brief appearance at the
beginning, it's over two hours before he makes another appearance. His
prominence on the film's poster is a little misleading.
That aside, Silence is an exceptional piece of work from a 74 year old
filmmaker who shows no signs of slowing down. A powerful and persuasive
film that you don't have to be religious to appreciate.