‘Silence’ stirs emotions in viewers

By Justin Busby

Three years ago, Martin Scorsese made a film about a rebellious Wall Street broker and his rise and fall from making $49 million in a year to running investment seminars in hotel ballrooms.

The master of cinema is back (along with same cinematographer, Rodrigo Prieto), with a passionately crafted film called “Silence” about two Jesuit priest, Father Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Garupe (Adam Driver) searching for their mentor, Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson), in an unwelcoming, Buddhist 17th century Japan.

Christians across the nation have been forced into hiding and secret worship to escape the persecution of an inquisitor determined to destroy any roots of Christianity in his country, and subjecting those who hold onto their beliefs to extreme suffering.

Rodrigues becomes a god-send, listening to villager’s confessions, distributing items of faith, and leading mass for the devout Christians of the small islands. As the inquisition catches up to the father, his relationship with god is put to the ultimate test as he can do nothing but watch his flock of followers suffer for their faith. Rodrigues is left begging to silence, imprisoned by his faith, and conflicted by the word of a Ferreira who has denounced the word of god and apostatized.

I’m a big fan of Scorsese’s films and his signature style of following the main character through the good and the bad times (most of the time bad) and witnessing moments of self-evaluation and reflection of one’s situation. This style of the character analyzing his actions and asking himself questions reveals more than just basic emotions and allows us to connect and feel those emotions with better clarity, like we’re going through the same struggles they are.

However as much as I love the beauty, and uniqueness of his films, I can’t say “Silence” is for everyone outside of the director’s fandom. Scorsese is an exceptional director with over 50 years of experience in the filmmaking business, that being said, he knows exactly how to design a movie that will stir your brain and engage your emotions. At times, this movie can become “too much” and overwhelmingly real, but for the majority of the film, it is a visually appealing, and thought provoking piece on the human spirit and faith.


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