Making noise about ‘Silence’

Image copyright Cappa Defina Productions / EFO Films

Gather up all your patience and maturity, forget you live in the 21st century and prepare yourself for an unexpectedly profound and hypnotic cinematic experience: Go see Martin Scorsese’s Silence (4 ¼ stars).

Some critics have called it an unstructured slog, and they are right. The nearly three-hour runtime feels every bit that long, and more, but somehow that adds to the experience, as if you were living alongside Father Rodrigues (the excellent Andrew Garfield) for the many years the story encompasses. Another reviewer described the film as not something you like or dislike, but something you must experience. I would add that it is required viewing for anyone seeking to understand religious faith, be you Christian, Buddhist or atheist, or explain the role of the missionary in world history.

This is old-fashioned filmmaking in the best sense, something so well crafted that you forgive some of the flaws and Scorsese’s indulgences. After all, this has been his passion project for at least 20 years, and despite its rambling nature, it ranks among his five best films, and also among the five best of 2016. Its lack of awards recognition, as best I can tell, is due solely to the juvenile impatience of today’s audiences and critics.

2 Responses to “Making noise about ‘Silence’”
  1. Jim DeSantis says:

    I agree with everything you said. However, I cannot recommend this film in good conscious. Let me explain why.

    As with your review, I feel that the run time of this film is long, but that does adds to the experience. This is about breaking down a man’s faith over. It is about breaking the human spirit. You cannot get from point A to point D without showing the rigors of B and C.

    So far, this is my favorite film of the year. However, it is a long adventure that people must be warned prior to going in. It is a patient film that questions everything and requires your full attention.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Cameron Meier says:

    Agreed. It could have just as easily be called “Patience.”