Movie review-silence

Review By : Yoihenba

Two 17th century priests Rodrigues and Garupe travel to the land of Japan where Christians were cruelly persecuted in search of the truth for Father Ferreira who was rumored to renounce his faith. Father Ferreira came to Japan to preach the teachings of Jesus and convert many of the inhabitants to Christianity. As expected, the two priests were thrown into a series of tortures and hardships when they faced their Christian converts trying to save them and dying for their belief in the Religion. Their deaths however were not proved to be for the religion but for Rodrigues in the ending parts of the movie as Rodrigues depicted Jesus and his decision to renounce officially came as salvation for the lives of the Christian converts.

The film sets with wonderful cinematography and direction from Martin Scorsese. The title justifies itself with many scenes being mute and silent which was followed by soothing sounds of waves, rain, and burning woods. Also, the silent nature of God in answering our prayers while at the same time letting us decide from a number of opportunities is also relatable. Further, we can say the actions of the cast were superb. Another plus point is their historical accuracy in regards to converts being mostly farmers and not much of the upper classes and the onset of the Priests on secluded islands while it is a hard time to land foot on the mainland like Nagasaki. The last scene is most astonishing as Rodrigues dies with a cross he had brought from his land in his hand and it was kept by his promoted wife. The wife never set tears as she understood him well and also respected his faith in Christianity even though he renounced officially. Rodrigues holding the cross indicated that even if external forces surge to gain the advantage, our belief always wins. The constant dilemma of whether to renounce and save or to never yield and be fanatic gives a strong message to the present society.


Not everything is perfect and we can also see that in this movie. Meaningful mentions may be made for Adam Driver whose character is Garupe having less screen time and also some historical inaccuracies of 17th Century Catholic Priests having long hairs instead of a crown cutting. The most critical view would be the likeliness of the movie leaning towards Redemption of the Christians. The movie is also very long and comprised of some useless scenes of praying and religious fanatism. The movie also portrays the Japanese to have extreme torture styles when the Catholics themselves burned plenty of innocent women on the pretext of witchcraft.


Socially, we can learn that the movie doesn’t want anybody to be a fanatic and hopefully balance the dire situations of either to keep the faith or to save people and themselves. We can also come to our own state where there is a clear history of Hindu missionaries in the Valley and Christian Missionaries in the Hills which have converted most of the people and hardly a few left from the original Faith. The Japanese Shogunate defended very well saying that the religion does not grow or take root in their land which is an eye-opener that we can learn from other religions but not indulge in full faith while dropping our original roots. There was one question that Rodrigues couldn’t answer and that is the question of whether he can speak Japanese or not since he came to Japan to preach but he couldn’t even though all the Christian converts can speak Portuguese, English, etc. In the exact same way, we need not speak the language of anybody else’s just to gain their good side.

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