Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, Adam Driver
Age Restriction: 16 V
Runtime: 161 Minutes
Release Date: 21 April 2017
After more than 25 years in development, visionary director Martin Scorsese's passion project is finally hitting the big screen.
Based on the novel of the same name, which in turn is based on true-life events, Silence is a story of faith, persecution, torture and the emotional harrowing of having to deal with it all.
Taking place in the 17th Century; the true-life drama follows two Portuguese priests, Sebastião Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver), who travel to Japan after learning that their mentor, Father Cristóvão Ferreira (Liam Neeson), has renounced Christianity.
As the two priests attempt to locate their mentor, they discover something truly horrific. Japanese Christians are being persecuted and killed for their beliefs, as the religion was at that point in time outlawed in the country. The two young missionary priests witness countless brutality, sacrifice and death – a series of traumatic experiences which threaten to test their faith like never before.
Scorsese crafts a nail-bitingly emotional piece of cinema with an honest, complex, uncompromising and finely-detailed story that fails to hold anything back.
The director confidently digs deep into the material, resulting in richly-written characters and thought-provoking themes which keeps the plot compelling from start to finish.
One of the biggest outrages to come from this year's Oscars was Silence's snub – as the film only managed secure one nomination for Best Cinematography, and ultimately failed to land in any of the prominent categories.
While Silence comes close to acquiring that certified stamp of a Scorsese classic, it falls slightly short due to two contributing factors.
First and foremost; the film fails to answer all of its questions, leaving a few plot holes in its wake. Secondly, the film – at times – tries to be assumptive, particularly with regards to character motivations during the film's conclusion.
The Oscars were spot on in honouring Silence with a cinematography nomination, as cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto successfully captures the Japanese seaside with exquisite camera work.
While Neeson and Driver are fine additions to the film's stellar cast; it's Garfield who ultimately deserves the applause here.
The former Spider-Man effortlessly nails the Portuguese accent, and successfully delivers an emotionally raw performance of bravado that deserved Oscar recognition.
While Garfield did indeed land a nomination at this year's Oscars, it was unfortunately for a different film – which is a shame considering that Silence is his career-defining performance.
Verdict: Martin Scorsese's latest production is a highly engaging, nail-biting, emotional and honest drama that adapts its source material triumphantly – with a career-best performance from Andrew Garfield. However, it falls short from achieving that classic stamp of approval due to its assumptive conclusion and occasional plot holes.