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'Silence': Both beautiful and brutal . . .

this film is about faith, trials, and temptation. At two hours and forty-one minutes, it compels the viewer to stay put to see what possible developments and consequences are coming next. The story of Jesuits Rodrigues (Garfield) and Garupe (Driver) seeking out their missing mentor Ferreira (Neeson) leads them to the dark and mysterious beauty of Japan in 1633.

At the time of their arrival Christianity had been outlawed (having hundreds of thousands of followers) and persecution by torture and execution had effectively suppressed it. Rodrigues and Garupe arrived under cover and remained so to avoid capture and persecution. Eventually, both were discovered and Rodrigues faced both trials and temptation at the hands of the local Inquisitor.

Kudos to all the actors who gave Scorcese their best. The Japanese leads were superb. Tadnanobu Asano, the "interpreter", was excellent as the fluent, intelligent, and clever man assigned to Rodrigues to goad him along the path the Inquisitor wanted. The Inquisitor, Issei Ogata, I found to give the most compelling performance. The venerable enforcer of the Province showed great wisdom, charm, and intelligence as he tried to explain and make sense of Japan and its culture to the Portuguese Rodrigues. I eagerly awaited Ogata's appearance on screen to hear his measured and gentlemanly persuasions to the Jesuits.

This movie is completely about faith. Getting it and holding onto it no matter the costs. To say this is a historical action-adventure would grossly misrepresent this film. The acting, cinematography, and story are superb and compelling. It seems to be in limited runs (even here) because of its religious nature. Asking/compelling one to sit quietly for nearly three hours is a lot. One must be compelled by the story and the art.

Highly recommended.

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Topic - 'Silence': Both beautiful and brutal . . . - Billy Wonka 16:37:40 01/23/17 (4)


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