USA, Mexico, Taiwan
Drama, Adventure, History
IMDB rating:
Martin Scorsese
Liam Neeson as Ferreira
Tetsuya Igawa as Prisoner Japanese Jesuit
Benoit Masse as Prisoner Augustinian Friar #3
Diego Calderón as Prisoner Augustinian Friar #2 (as Diego Calderon)
Kaoru Endô as Unzen Samurai (Uneme)
Matthew Blake as Prisoner Franciscan Friar
Rafael Kading as Prisoner Augustinian Friar #1
Adam Driver as Garupe
Yôsuke Kubozuka as Kichijiro (as Yosuke Kubozuka)
Shinya Tsukamoto as Mokichi
Yoshi Oida as Ichizo
Tadanobu Asano as Interpreter
Andrew Garfield as Rodrigues
Ciarán Hinds as Father Valignano
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
1080p 1916x800 px 5717 Mb h264 4952 Kbps mkv Download
720p 1280x534 px 4343 Mb mpeg4 3762 Kbps mkv Download
HQ DVD-rip 720x304 px 1711 Mb mpeg4 1481 Kbps avi Download

High hopes but it left me cold
In brief, this movie to ENDURE, not ENJOY.

It is just WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY. TOO. LONG. Three hours of relentless torture, persecution, despair, poverty, brutality, murder, betrayal, and then more of the same, was just too much, and Scorsese really should have made a 60 minute documentary rather than a movie. Yes, there are moments of lightness (two, we counted), and a brief sequence of hope and purposes where one of the padres felt like he was making a difference to the bleak poverty of the lives of Japanese villagers. Other than that, this movie is one inevitable, ghastly, slow slide to apostasy. On occasions, Mr Scorsese, I want my movies to give hope, humour, courage and good things, and your movie gave none of those.

I had high hopes for this: Neeson, Garfield and Scorsese made it an attractive proposition. However, an hour into the movie and I was ready to leave. The plot was muddy and laborious, and Scorsese insisted on showing us short imagistic fragments that led nowhere.

Two last gripes. Firstly, the idea that medieval rural Japanese villagers would be able to speak English (or Portuguese as the narrative language) is ridiculous. Secondly, why oh why did Scorsese make us sit through the credits before the house lights came on? A few more minutes of tedium? Whatever you wanted, it didn't work.

It gets 2/10 for the cinematography and nothing else.

Unless you are a fan of medieval Japanese torture and murder techniques, don't both watching this. Some movies stay with you for days, weeks, months, a lifetime. This one you will want to forget asap and move quickly to something more edifying.
Enjoy the Silence
Silence. A beautiful film. Scorsese has done it again. One of the best director's of our time. Andrew Garfield is amazing in the role of Father Rodrigues. Garfield's Rodrigues shows us what it is to truly doubt, to go on the journey of the doubt and arrive full circle to a spot where he has to accept his fate. As the pride of anyone, we want to fight back when there is injustice and not give in if it compromises our beliefs or our pride.

Silence is stating To truly know God and Jesus, we almost have to go against ourselves, go against what we want to do. Jesus Christ fought against what he had to do until the very end, and then finally accepted his fate and came to a calmness, maybe not necessarily a peace, but an acceptance. Father Rodrigues comes to this same end, he keeps fighting it, but in the end accepts what he must do to save people and to become closer with God/Jesus.

From there on out Father Rodrigues must pray to his God in Silence to save people and to save his own soul. He never loses his faith and becomes closer to God and even though he's come to this acceptance, he still feels inside that he's betrayed the lord. A fantastic film of inner struggle, the inner demons and doubt we feel, the Self vs. Self we all have and the injustice of it all.

How we all fight ourselves, and go through a spiritual journey with ourselves, God and mankind. A truly moving picture, an expansive film experience. Wonderful acting, terrific sound, amazing cinematography. Surprising that it didn't get nominated for a lot more academy awards.

It has been said that in the time when people truly heard God it was the people of the desert who heard him. They heard him in the Silence of the desert. See this film, a moving ritualistic experience with the heart and soul and oneness of God.

Maybe not everything will be understood about this film, but not everything will ever be understood about God. If everything was understood about God, he wouldn't be God.
Does the spark die?
I didn't read the book, nor am I an expert in history, so I will not nitpick about any of that. I will only focus on the story, which the movie does too - thankfully.

"Silence" got under my skin. I'm a believer in God, specifically in Jesus Christ, so naturally I was invested because of that alone, but I believe this movie isn't specifically targeted towards me. It's not manipulative nor does it preach to its audience. Quite the opposite, in fact - it put me in a hard place. It puts you in a place where you really have to think about how you deal with your faith and what that faith ultimately is. I also believe anyone can find something about this movie, it doesn't tell you what to believe or what's wrong and right.

"Silence" is a movie about two Jesuit priests who embark on a mission to find their former catholic mentor, who has allegedly renowned his faith in Japan where he was a missionary. They find some Japanese people clinging to Christianity, and those persecuting it. Sounds like a simple, manipulative shock movie? It's not. While it is grim and there are some shocking scenes, this movie gets you in a different way. There is a constant, underlying story about nature of faith in an environment where that faith isn't welcome, and it's pushed to its limits.

I don't recall seeing a movie where a man struggles to keep his faith that moved me this much. It's not about some pretentious, meaningless problems: it's about harrowing situations, forces and things beyond one's control - and also about the inner struggle between pride, despair and doubt. It's inescapable. This movie is uncompromisingly brutal in what it wants you to ask yourself, and it doesn't let you off easy. I saw myself in many of the characters, and it was always about their weaknesses and shortcomings. I don't want to look at those dark parts of my soul, but sometimes I have to, and this movie pushed me there.

Every part of the movie has a purpose and it always seems to have something to say. The journey might be long at times, and uncomfortable at others, but the journey is just as important as the destination. In the end we get a glimpse of something. For some it can be defeat, for some it can be hope. Perhaps it's about what the nature of faith really is, when it's stripped out of everything else but its own essence, and that's something I find myself thinking about as I'm writing this review. I find the the ending beautiful in its own way.

Everyone is great in "Silence". Garfield, Neeson and Driver are very good, and they all bring in that "something" they possess. Their performances are without ego. I didn't see famous people acting, I just saw people. But the Japanese cast must be applauded. All of them. Every single one of them, even those with only 10 seconds of screen time, nail their parts. This is not some cynical Hollywood diversity meeting, no, these are real actors doing a real damn good job. I don't want to single anyone out, but Oida, Tsukamoto, Kubozuka, Ogata and Azano were very good. But once again, even the "villager" and "wife" actors/actresses were amazing and their parts should not be forgotten.

Cinematography is great, if you don't count just a few shots that weren't as good as everything else. It's not just about breathtaking scenery - although you get that as well - but the cinematic language is present in the visuals. Same with the music, it works in favor of the film. You almost never hear it, but when you do it's mostly just harrowing noise. It's still not meaningless noise without effort or meaning, because it finds a way to communicate something that visuals alone will not.

Scorsese wanted to get this movie made for a long time. Now he did it. It's easy to see why the man who directed "The Last Temptation of Christ" would be interested in this story. It's clearly personal to him, but it's personal to me too. It's a sign of a truly powerful movie to feel a little broken after seeing it, only to find out it's slowly putting you back together again the more you think about it.

"Silence" is like any passion project of an artist, it's not going to be loved (or even seen) by an enormous amount of people. It's also slow, probably offensive to different people for myriad of reasons, it's about religion and faith. But it's also about hope and that little mysterious and persistent spark inside us. It's not "them" who can kill the spark, it's always us. And even if we feel like we killed that spark and all is lost, perhaps we can take a lesson from Kichijiro...and try again.
What was the point of it all?
I left half-way through. I didn't storm out, but after 1.25 hours I'd had enough. What I saw was well-done, but I kept asking myself "What was the point of all this?" The film was hugely supportive of missionising, but was the Jesuit missionising in 17C Japan a good thing? The Japanese government had a policy of keeping out all foreigners, including missionaries, but they had good reasons for doing this. As had been seen in the Americas, and was being seen in China, missionaries came hand-in-hand with commercial interests, backed up by the military. It usually didn't end well for the local people, who were usually colonised and often enslaved.

Yes, the methods used by the Japanese government were cruel, but were no crueller than what Christians were doing to each other at the time. The Thirty Years War between Catholics and Protestants was an ongoing bloodbath.

The missionaries were excellent marketers, skilled in the double-whammy approach - first sell 'em Sin, then sell 'em Salvation, the missionaries being the indispensable middle-men. So thousands of Japanese died because they swallowed the missionaries' self-serving mumbo-jumbo.

I had hoped that the film would be more nuanced, exploring the rights and wrongs of missionising. Instead Scorcese chooses to do a propaganda piece - glorifying brave, noble missionaries against the cruel Japanese government.

Not a great film.
Misguided, Incomplete portrait of Feudal Japan
I was expecting an Epic on the level of "Shogun" and got a lecture on the rejection of Christianity in feudal Japan which was shallow and unexplained . The subject matter of Japan in the 1600's as Japan is introduced to Western Culture and Christianity is ripe for an in depth and detailed portrait of the clash between Bushido and Western thought, and is well documented- elsewhere. I was expecting a more detailed study of the resistance to Christianity by Japanese culture of the time to preserve the order of Bushido. Nowhere in the film are the traditional concepts of Bushido and Budhism represented in the film, except for implicitly.

The movie seemed to force the viewer to the conclusion that Christianity was the best thing for Japan without explaining how Christianity was in-congruent with Japanese Culture and Social Structure of the time. I began to wonder, are the beliefs implied by this movie born out empirically? A quick survey of Modern Japan today says no. Despite all the strife of the Christian Missionaries in "Silence", a mere 1% of Japanese are Christian today. Apparently the writers overlooked core Japanese culture in the making of this movie.

A more pertinent theme would take place in the Modern Middle East where massive numbers of Christians are being murdered in the modern world and ignored by the Media.

The case of a few Missionaries in Japan back in the 1600's is intriguing only if we study and compare the influences of Bushido and Christianity to the Social/Political normalities of the time.

The 1980's Mini Series Shogun delivered this and far more drama than you'll ever find in "Silence".
Unapologetic story of faith, conversion and martyrdom
SILENCE is beautifully filmed and strangely involving for such a grim and slow-moving tale. For a 2 hr 40 min movie, I never felt bored or felt that the story was unnecessarily stretched out. As an ex Catholic who, as a child, was intrigued by the idea of martyrdom and by tales of the saints who were killed because they refused to renounce their faith (and so, got an express ticket to heaven - a very attractive end result for one who feared hell as much as I did), I could identify in a more distanced way with the protagonists and their Catholic followers in Japan.

I expected that in telling a story set 400 years ago, Scorsese would provide some kind of modern day insight (psychological, political,sexual) to the true events depicted in his narrative. Instead, all I could glean was that this was a film by a devout Catholic, about devout Catholics. Who would have thought Scorsese was possessed by such primal and dogmatic religious feelings?

Shockingly, the Japanese culture is referred to more than once as a 'swamp' where nothing truly spiritual, much less Catholic, can grow. The inquisitor who persecutes the Catholics is portrayed by a lizardy actor with a high pitched voice, doing what I guess is the Japanese equivalent of a moustache-twirling villain. Cruelty, execution and torture take up a large part of the picture, and while accurate I suppose, is probably no worse that what was done by the Catholic inquisition in Europe.

I was hoping for some kind of statement about religious fanaticism, and at one point, when a Buddhist is trying to reason with the priest, asking why it isn't better to focus on the common elements of the world's different religions, I thought the film was going in that direction. But it ends on an 'upbeat' religious note, when it is revealed that the priest held onto his faith in the Catholic god right up to the end. The film was premiered at The Vatican which says a lot about where it's coming from. There is a dedication to the priests and converts in Japan.

I wasn't impressed by Andrew Garfield in the central role. I felt like he was miscast, so it's mostly not his fault - too young and modern (and who kept his hair so coiffed in the first half of the movie?). Adam Driver was excellent as always, but not sure why he felt he needed to lose all that weight for the role, he was really skinny and sunken-eyed. Liam Neeson, also miscast with his very tall stature and hard-to- disguise Irishness was good in a thankless role. The Japanese actors (except for the inquisitor) were fine, but most of their characters were never really developed into anything more than simple-minded worshippers or cruel torturers.
Important issues marred by an academic script
A film about Jesuit evangelizing in 17th century Japan. It raises all the right questions about faith, religion and culture-clashes but thanks to the film's ineptness these issues remain inert.

A big problem is the script, attributed to Scorsese, which apparently went through many re-writes, usually not a sign the words will leap off the paper, or in this case, the film. The dialogue seems academic, a not very imaginative re-creation of the way priests might talk in the 17th century. Instead of an experience we get a dissertation.

And then there's the language problem. The priests are Portuguese but they speak in English. As do the Japanese although it is unlikely they would know English, or more to the point, Portuguese. Subtitles with people actually speaking their native languages would have made the film seem more realistic.

The other problem is casting Andrew Garfield as the lead. Utterly unconvincing. Liam Neeson is better but the best acting goes to the Japanese, especially the man who prosecuted the priests, the 'inquisitor' played by Issey Ogata.
Silence is Well Manufactured but Lacks a Sympathetic Hero or a Decent Message
*Minor Spoilers Ahead* A letter has gotten back to Father Valignano (Ciaran Hinds) at his church in Portugal. The year is 1637 and it is regarding the whereabouts of famed Jesuit Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson). He had been sent to Japan to spread the gospel but he had to witness the followers of Christianity being tortured by the leaders of Feudal Japan. They will not allow their citizens to follow any other religion other than Buddhism. Japan wants nothing to do with Christianity or the influence of Europe and is willing to go to great lengths to discourage it. It is rumoured that to avoid torture, Father Ferreira has apostatized and given up on the Roman Catholic faith. His pupils Father Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Garupe (Adam Driver) refuse to believe this. He was their teacher and they insist that this letter is rumour. Valignano insists it is the truth but they arrive at an impasse. Rodrigues and Garupe volunteer to go to Japan to find Ferreira and prove this letter false while spreading the gospel. Valignano reluctantly agrees and points them in the direction of someone who can help smuggle them into Japan.

I may not be gushing over this movie but that doesn't mean I don't respect that its put together by one of the best directors working today. The cinematography is really striking and they really take advantage of the scenery in Taiwan. As much as I had a hard time attaching myself to Father Rodrigues or Father Garupe, it was hard not be at least interested in where they would go next.

I'm sure that actors would fight for the chance to work with Martin so I'm not surprised that this movie attracted some top shelf talent. Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver are both on the rise and both are grabbing top level projects. I thought they both did a fine job, they put their all into this and while I found their characters to by too self righteous to like, it wasn't their fault. Liam Neeson is in the movie far less than I expected him to be but he also does well in the time he's given. Several of the Japanese actors give exemplary performances including: Yôsuke Kubozuka as Kichijiro, Tadanobu Asano as the Interpreter and Issei Ogata as the Inquisitor. The whole cast does a good job and I didn't find a weak performance in the group. Garfield and Driver's accents are a little weird but that didn't limit my enjoyment of the movie.

I also respect this movie for asking the big questions. They really look at both sides of how the Japanese Christians and their Portuguese priests suffer for their faith and how God is seemingly indifferent or "silent" in the face of their pain. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has thought about these things and it has the makings of a spirited debate about God's role in how humanity operates. By the time you reach the end of the movie though, you don't really end up with a clear answer. I understood what the ending meant but the overall arc of the movie is muddled in a mixed message. Is it trying to make a statement about having faith through tough times? The movie has been called both anti-Christian and reaffirming for Christianity so I don't know if there is an actual consensus on where the movie falls on the debate.

From what I've heard this book is notorious for being difficult to read and I can see why. The problem with this is that the movie seems like one long montage of these poor people dying while those who are responsible for them are just letting them happen. I got why Rodrigues and Garupe felt why they did but their actions left me furious. I found myself largely on Ferreira's side where their collective pride and their stubbornness left me furious. Letting these people suffer for their pride, how is that noble or righteous? Then when Rodrigues really has to face the consequences for his actions, he gets bailed out by a deus ex machina twist in the plot. It felt like a cop out to me and it took any hope of an interesting resolution away from the ending.

This movie just wasn't for me, it wasn't offensively bad but it was far from enjoyable. So much of the movie seems just about the violence and the torture, it was just painful to watch and eventually just annoying. This is a deep story but the message that Scorsese and his crew were trying to get across didn't translate for me. Garfield, Driver and Neeson all perform admirably but I thought they were sunk by their characters and the heavy subject matter. Maybe Silence just wasn't for me but I can't see this being accessible to the mainstream audience. I would recommend against seeing this unless your a huge Scorsese fan or devoutly religious.
It's dragged out
This movie is absolutely mediocre, but lets try to take it bit by bit

The locations and filming is absolutely beautiful. The story is threadbare, it really doesn't exist in many ways and is very very repetitive. There really only exist 1-2 characters that aren't just hollow shells there to further the story. You can see exactly whats going to happen around 30 minutes before it happens, and there lies this movies biggest flaw, it's length. Everything goes on and on and on about the exact same thing for around 1h 30 min. With little to no progression, those 1h and 30 minutes of story goes like this: Repent your religion, No, *something bad happens*, repent your religion, No, *something bad happens* and on and on and on. Honestly this movie had potential but it needed someone who can actually write a story and not include the same thing for hours. This whole movie should have been a 1h movie and it would have been much better for it.
Another masterpiece by Martin Scorsese
In 1988 the film directed by Martin Scorsese, titled The last temptation of Christ, was known as a quite scandalous movie due to the outrage among Christian communities. Almost thirty years have passed since then and Martin Scorsese made another religion-related film which focuses on faith as well. A Japanese novel called Silence was written by Shusaku Endo in 1969 and has the same title as the adaption. Silence was nominated for one Oscar and was first released in the Vatican. The film is set in the seventeenth century in Japan where two Jesuit priests are attempting to find their mentor who is rumored to have committed apostasy. The mission however is quite dangerous since Japanese inquisitors are looking for Christians to slaughter or to force them to refuse their faith. Rodrigues, one of the two priests is the main character portrayed by Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge, 99 homes). Although Martin Scorsese has already received probably the best awards that a director can be awarded, he is still able to astonish people. The main questions are quite extraneous for people in the twenty-first century: where is the line between the practice of the faith and idolatry? Is there someone listening to the prayers? Is our conviction more important than rationality? These questions are old-fashioned and long-ago forgotten ones however they perfectly reflect on an age when morality and conviction were important, whilst these values are not precious nowadays. Andrew Garfield(Father Rodrigues) is overwhelmingly authentic and amazing as a loyal believer who has to go through hard physical and mental trials such as not betraying the Lord or being closed away from civilization for long weeks. Moreover, he needs to deal with these circumstances without hearing any answers from his God. This grinding silence is torturing him until he starts to doubt. He compares his passion to the passion of Jesus as he becomes the prisoner of a well-known inquisitor and believes the only way of escaping is martyrdom. The most interesting scene is the meeting with Father Ferreira(Liam Neeson) when he gets the answers and recognizes the fact that he had been seeking them the wrong way. The main reason what makes this film amazing is the remarkable acting and the great dialogues. Cinematography and sound editing are also remarkable components of this great masterpiece. I would recommend this movie for those who appreciate slowly evolving films and for those who like Martin Scorsese's movies.
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