Student Voice


April 25, 2024




'Silence' offers provoking, realistic look at religion

January 31, 2017

"Silence" tells the story of two Christian missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) at a time when Christianity is outlawed and their presence forbidden.

Martin Scorsese, one of the most renowned writers and directors throughout the last several decades, has once again created an absolute masterpiece. For those of you unaware of his work, he has given us movies such as "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull," "Goodfellas," "The Aviator," "The Departed," "Shutter Island," "Wolf of Wall Street," and so many other fantastic films. The man is a genius and he has not lost his touch with "Silence."

"Silence" is a film that Scorsese has wanted to make for decades now. I am so happy that he did. Not very often does a movie challenge you so much emotionally and mentally. A lot of people will see the 161 minute runtime and run away screaming at the thought of seeing such a long movie about missionaries. I am telling you that it is worth it.

While, yes, this movie is very long, it never lost my attention. That is because of how good the writing and directing is by Scorsese. He makes this movie look absolutely stunning and so vividly realistic and gritty. He is able to do this because he had the help of his cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, who he team up with in the "Wolf of Wall Street." They make each frame and each scene having meaning. It is truly an artistic experience to view this film.

These scenes are acted out by the very talented Andrew Garfield (who delivered an incredible performance in this year’s "Hacksaw Ridge," as well), Adam Driver and Liam Neeson (small but very impactful role). Each one of them is phenomenal and quite possibly give their best performances to date.

What makes them so great is the material that they are given and how they are able to own it and make it their own. This film deals with the complex emotions of struggling with one's faith in God, man and his own inner strength to stand up for what one believes.

For those who are on the fence of wanting to go see a religious movie, don't be turned away by this. Yes, this has religious themes and plot points, but it rides the fine line perfectly. It doesn’t glorify martyrs and it doesn’t demonize the men responsible for their persecution. It simply shows both sides and, quite honestly, how wasteful it all is. I love this because it really allows the audience to question what they would do, what they would think and how true they would stand in their beliefs no matter the hardships and consequences.

"Silence" will not be for everyone. A lot of people will walk out hating it and some people might even get some good naps in. However, this is one of the most realistic and honest portrayals of Christianity and religion that I have ever seen on film. Scorsese delivers another masterpiece, Garfield and Driver further establish themselves as some of the best actors of this generation and Neeson adds another notch into his belt of great films.