Thoughts on Scorsese's SILENCE since the Embargo has finally lifted

It's a damn-near masterpiece; Imperfect, but, I do feel that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. At the very least, it's 100 times better than "Kundun," which was a spiritual bore. This is going to be a major WTF for the "Wolf of Wall Street"/"Goodfellas" crowd, but screw them. Scorsese doesn't care about awards when it comes to this film and we should all be grateful about that. All the concerns I had about Andrew Garfield's casting are thrown out the window the moment he shows up in the film's first scene. It's a powerful performance, ditto Adam Driver. They play two jesuit priests in the 17th century that decide to go to Japan to locate and "save" their mentor, played by Liam Neeson, who iss rumored to have apostatized.  For the dozen or so minutes Neeson is on-screen he's mesmerizing. Rodrigo Prieto's cinematography is also a standout.

"Silence" has more greatness in its 159 minute running time than any other movie I have seen this year.  I do love the questions being asked: Why does God remain silent while evil acts happen all around us? It is in no way a pro-religion film, but it does feel like Scorsese's most personal statement. Think of Scorsese as Garfield's Rodrigues, questioning himself about being brought up Christian, but seeing the light in Buddhism. I Can't believe Scorsese showed this to the Pope. The film doesn't necessarily take sides, you can be an atheist, like myself, and absolutely revel in this film's themes and sumptuous frames concocted by Socrsese and Prieto.

I find that the last 25-30 minutes are what elevate the film to greatness. It ends up being more than just about torture, agony, suffering and rises to a surreal sense of beautiful sadness, a kind of nirvana that is deceitful.  Either you hop along to Scorsese's "Silence" or you don't, either you are fascinated by its themes or you're not. I know I was.

More thoughts to come ....

Source: Metacritic

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