It took years for Scorsese to adapt Silence, the novel of Shusaku Endo. The result is a work that is rich in its symbolic that by the power of the images.
In the Seventeenth century, in the full evangelization of the catholic church, the Japan decreed illegal this religion. The ready-jesuit Father Sebastião Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver), go there to try to find the Father Cristóvão Ferreira (Liam Neeson), who disappeared for several years. Upon their arrival, the faithful, and obliged to continue their belief in secret, welcome.
After The Last temptation of Christ (1988) and Kundun (1997), Martin Scorsese is looking back with SILENCE in a thematic religious, adapting the novel of the same name by Shusaku Endo published in 1966. A novel he had discovered during a trip to Japan in the 1990s – on the occasion of the turning of Dreams ofAkira Kurosawa , and he tries to put in image from. From the first scenes, the filmmaker reveals the complexity of its two characters, presenting them to the limit of the antipathy. Because of the language difference, they perform well often of the confessions without great value in their eyes, but at least bring hope to the faithful. Locked up each day in a hut to not be seen by the authorities, they border on insanity. And in the face of the difficulty of their journey, they are evidence of selfishness and forget some of their precepts. They are affected directly or indirectly by violence done to the faithful), it is a test of their faith and their values. For the viewer, the test SILENCE is a complex and sometimes grueling, but no less rich in interpretations (on the bottom as well as the shape), and its specter continues to haunt them after the fact.
Turn in the scenery of the Japan of the Seventeenth century is a boon for Martin Scorsese, who has always expressed the influence of the japanese cinema. One ofAkira Kurosawa, Masaki Kobayashior Kenji Mizoguchi. It arrives with a SILENCE to get closer to the most, all in excess of the tribute. Scorsese has ingested over the years this film and was able to take ownership of it. And, if SILENCE does not adopt the style scorsesien as it is usually understood to mean, it becomes so by the power of the images. No need to make flying camera ” just to prove [he] knows how to do “, as he said himself at his press conference in Paris on 12 January 2017.
No movement “flashy”, but a sense of the framework and composition of the image are quite remarkable. While remaining in a form of restraint, Scorsese spot here and there of visual ideas fascinating – it is a pity that there is not more on the whole of the 2 hours and 40 minutes of the film. Take for example this scene where the two priests, just arrived on a first island of japan, hiding in a cave. Suddenly a light comes in the top frame to the right, without the knowledge of the protagonists, that will few moments to realize it. A sequence all in all basic but that Scorsese, by his precise direction and the perfect quality of the photography of Rodrigo Prieto (The Wolf of Wall Street, The Homesman, Argo, Babel…), and 35mm motion picture film used, manages to make it atypical. It evokes, in a plan, the allegory of the cave from Plato, and in fact a metaphor for the journey to come, the priests ; namely, questioning the knowledge, as well as the transmission.
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Should he accept, and continue to believe in secret, or face the tortures in keeping with his belief intact ? This dilemma is at the basis of SILENCE. For many faithful, this will include a requirement to set foot on a symbol of the christian faith. But more importantly it will lead to opposition, first, between Rodrigues and Garupe, and then to a personal questioning to Rodrigues, powerless witness of violence against believers. It is in this violence, so pure and explosive, that Scorsese is both the most scorsesien and the closest to the japanese film that inspired it. As with the beheading enlighten a man ; sword suddenly lifted, the blood spurting and the head that drops. A brutality that recalls both that of Joe Pesci in Goodfellas that Kurosawa or Kobayashi (to name only a few).
It was the same with this character of Rodrigues, on its fact, that refuses to question its ideologies – it has points in common with the one thatAndrew Garfield was interpreted in Thou shalt not kill -, Scorsese’s the key to a form of extremism that he has been able to evoke in many other genres. And so it is in fact a character, although not bad, not so heroic. Certainly, it will be ready to sacrifice himself for his faithful (but after what ?). But while being taken to the japanese position – understandable, since after all, Japan already had his beliefs before the evangelization, he refuses to question, though facing a doubt on his own belief. By this complexity, non black and white of the main protagonist, SILENCE holds finally all his interest. Even beyond religion, Scorsese evokes a very personal belief (spiritual or otherwise) and the will of Man. Perhaps, less accessible than his most popular movies, but with a form of renewal, mature force compliance.
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• Achievement : Martin Scorsese
• Screenplay : Jay Cocks and Martin Scorsese based on the work of Shusaku Endo
• Main actors : Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson
• Release Date : 8 February 2017
• Duration : 2h41min• Criticism AGAINST