Silence is the latest movie from legendary director Martin Scorsese, and it is the movie he has been wanting to make for decades. It is a story about faith, something which I haven’t got any ties to, and going in i was a little unsure what to expect. Whilst it is directed by Martin Scorsese, it is a very different movie to anything I have seen from him.
Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver are the lead and main supporting characters, and both are exceptional. Garfield steps up another gear in the second half of the film when we focus more on his story, and gives a incredible performance that will almost certainly bag him an Oscar nomination, if Hacksaw Ridge doesn’t get him one as well (havent seen Hacksaw Ridge at time of writing so i cant comment on what performance is better).
Liam Neeson is as good as you’d expect, although him wearing robes did make me think i was seeing Qui-Gon Jinn back on the big screen. There are some excellent supporting perfomances given by the japanese section of the cast, with Issei Ogata (one of the Inquisitors) and Yosuke Kubozuka (the lead characters guide through Japan) in particular standing out.
Martin Scorsese re-teams with cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto to produce one of the most beautiful looking films I have seen in a long long time. The low wide shots show off the locations they filmed Silence in, and even in the close confined spaces that our characters spend much of the film in, they find a way to keep everything perfectly framed.
Silence is very much a character study, with Garfields character in particular going through a series of trials that test his faith to breaking point, and I was interested in seeing where his story would go. That being said, the film felt a bit too factual to me, as if I was just being told a series of things that happened, without any real reason to feel emotionally bought into the movie. it would be easy to put this down to my lack of faith in any religion, but I don’t believe that to be the case.
Whilst i can appreciate all of the technical aspects that Silence absolutely nails, there is something stopping me really loving this movie. This film reminds me a lot of The Revenant last year, and Foxcatcher the year before that. What i mean by that is that although both of those films are fantastic when judged by almost every technical measure you can use, they didn’t really entertain and engage me. Silence is arguably the worst offender in this case, as the moments for our main character that should’ve hit me fell a little flat and therefore I can’t say this movie is as brilliant as it seems like it is.
Silence is a wonderfully made film and if you love films, and the art of film making, this is a must see. I can’t stress how well made this film is, from the performances, the costumes and sets, right through to the sound design everything is perfect for the time and setting. However for all of it’s technical prowess, i struggle to recommend this movie as it just didn’t hook me how I was hoping it would.
6.5/10 – Silence is silver or bronze, not quite Golden.