By Shelby Fielding (Lubbock, Texas, US)
Silence is a Thoughtful Evocation of Faith and Conflict:
Faith is best defined as a strong belief in a something you are unaware of its existence, but still passionate about its possibility of becoming a reality. The film Silence takes that definition and tests it through emotional storytelling involving internal conflicts, strength in your beliefs, and deciding between what’s right and wrong. The battles of two priests following their love for their faith to a hostile environment that is ever changing in its danger. Then watching them fight these internal conflicts in how they address others paying the price for their faith, and watching them struggle with their faith by questioning if this faith is saving lives or costing them. Watching them examine their internal conflicts creates this battlefield of psychological warfare that sucks the viewer into its narrative and environment. Silence is a film that not only dissects faith from an outside perspective to not overthrow audience members who do not share that belief but also envelopes other audience members with an emotional resonance that follow that share spiritual connection with the film.
Silence is a moral thought provoking and emotionally arousing film that absorbs you into its narrative by making you question either your morality or your beliefs. Andrew Garfield continues to prove his worth as an actor. Proving that his early performance this year in Hacksaw Ridge was no fluke, and this film displays his creative talents at sucking the audience in with his facial expressions by expressing his internal psychological battles as a man of faith. He portrays this excellent character with intangible qualities that only he can pull off. Adam Driver also continues to develop an exceeding filmography by taking on new challenges. He continues to take on challenges by following up his past remarkable and subtle performance from Patterson with this challenging and emotionally draining portrayal.
Liam Neeson also continues to surprise with performances that display his deserving to be in great films but remains underutilized in crappy sequels of past successes. I hope to see him continue to rechallenge himself and prove that he’s still an incredible asset in Hollywood today. These performances are accentuated by the dazzling filmmaking prose of Martin Scorsese. He directs this film by creating a sense of, and not to be ironic, but he creates a sense of silence. The silence that reflects our internal thoughts and conflictions about our morality and understanding our places in this world. He creates a sense a building urgency that continues to build to this crescendo of the emotional and spiritual explosion.
The surgical focus from Scorsese is reflected through his intentional reflection of his passion for this project. It is beautifully put in front on the big screen for the whole world to see. You can feel the passion seeping from every shot in this screen that is meticulously articulated with this skilled craftsmanship of this renowned director. He also uses the incredible skills of Rodrigo Prieto and his display of cinematography that encompasses this intimate setting. You feel trapped in this world and its punishments for your ways of life. Silence is a film that not only connects based on your emotional and spiritual relation to its narrative but also it implores your connection to the art of filmmaking.
The flaws of the film are microscopic and almost absent completely. The story is slow in its first act in how it introduces the audiences to its environment, while I understood this artistic foundation being built for later plot developments. I could understand fans feeling bored and drawn from the film due to its slow pacing. The plot develops on this foundation of description because honestly this first act is slowly paced to provide an introduction to not only the characters, but also the environment, conflicts, and purposes of the stories reason for existence.
Silence is a film that reflects on the internal conflicts that can be tested by different ideologies especially when those tests become hostile. This movie evokes constant emotional frustration as well as emotional fortitude that consistently explores the audience’s morality. While some may have a hard time viewing based upon its steadily structured exposition, however, I feel it not only provides a foundation for this story but creates a sense of tension for consequences to come. Silence is a thought-provoking film that questions if prayer is to silence that never answers or if the silence is a representation of the deity fighting alongside you.