If you’ve been following this site, then you would have known that Silence has already been reviewed on this site. For a deeper analysis, I recommend you read Josh Tarpley’s earlier review. I won’t be doing a full on review per se but since it is a big film, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on it. My opinion should not come as much of a surprise.
This was epic storytelling at its best. It was a long film, clocking in at just under 3 hours but it never felt too long. It was also beautiful from beginning to end. This made the film feel very immersive. The plot was mostly character-driven which was aided by the lack of music or any type of score whatsoever to distract so it was easier to focus on what the characters were seeing and feeling which added to that.
Religion played a prominent role here, obviously, as Rodrigues and Garupe’s devotion was tested. Once Rodrigues was captured, he was ready to die for his religion but instead of giving him that satisfaction, they did not kill him but rather try to break his will. This was the strongest part of the film as it allowed him to take a real look at himself and second guess his beliefs.
Garfield is nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Hacksaw Ridge but his performance here was just as good if not better. Garfield carried most of the film with a restrained performance, using facial expressions to convey emotions. His portrayal of a tortured man felt genuine and gripping, seeing his faith be shattered in front of him. He and Driver also had great chemistry in what little time they had together. Ogata was just as impressive as the Inquisitor, providing a worthy adversary. He was equally as charming as he was menacing (reminding me of Christoph Waltz and his Oscar winning performance as Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds).
As far as the Oscar nominations were concerned, this film got snubbed in many categories including Best Picture, Best Director (with Scorsese replacing Denis Villeneuve), Best Supporting Actor (with Ogata replacing Dev Patel), among others to go along with its only other nomination for Cinematography.
Overall, this was an epic, beautiful, gripping film, elevated by its excellent performances by Garfield and everyone else.
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