Silence Blu-ray Review
“Silence” is another winner from the legendary Martin Scorsese.
“Silence” (which is based on the novel of the same name by Shūsaku Endō) is a 17th century period piece about two Portuguese Jesuit priests (Father Rodrigues and Father Garupe) who venture to Japan to spread Catholicism and find a missing priest (Father Ferreira) who has allegedly given up his faith. Upon arrival, Father Rodrigues and Father Garupe discover the hard way that Christians are essentially forced to hide their faith as Christianity is most certainly not welcome in the Japanese culture. Obviously, there’s more happening on screen than just this, but to say anything more would be delving too far into the story.
After the bloated mess that was “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Martin Scorsese bounces back with what is one of his most personal films to date. Unfortunately, from a box office perspective, the film didn’t find an audience although I can’t say I’m surprised. It’s not exactly feel good entertainment nor is it a mainstream film by any means. Artistically, however, it’s one of Scorsese’s finest films of late. It’s a truly powerful and spiritual historical film that deeply explores heavy themes such as faith, freedom, sacrifice, and religious persecution. Yes, it can be a tough watch due to the messed up violent scenes, but they are essential to both the story and the overall impact of it.
“Silence” is made even more engaging by the acting from the ensemble cast. Between “Hacksaw Ridge” and “Silence,” Andrew Garfield had himself quite a year in 2016. He’s really flexing those acting muscles and showing some dynamic range. Liam Neeson and Adam Driver have smaller roles here, but both are memorable and vital to the plot. The real standout for me here is Issey Ogata who gives a really strange and striking performance.
As weighty as “Silence” is, it is not without flaws. The 161 minute runtime and the somewhat repetitive nature of the story do become slightly tiresome in the second half of the film. I think it could have been edited a tad bit more to tighten up the film as some of the scenes become overstated.
Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. How does it look? The breathtaking cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto
Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The 5.1 track is crisp and clear.
The only extras here are a digital copy and a featurette titled “Martin Scorsese’s Journey Into Silence” which contains film clips, set footage, cast and crew interviews, and discussions about the themes, characters and the film’s historical context.
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