Martin Scorsese is best recognised for his films that centre around themes of violence and wealth (Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Casino, The Wolf of Wall Street). Less well known is Kundun, a biographical film he directed in 1997 about Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama.
In Silence, Scorsese has again sought inspiration in the East with his adaptation of Shūsaku Endō’s novel of the same name. Set in the early 17th Century, Silence follows the journey of Sebastião Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver), two young Jesuit priests who upon hearing that their mentor Father Cristóvão Ferreira (Liam Neeson) has been forced to renounce Catholicism, travel to Japan determined to rescue him.
The complex ethics of introducing Christianity to a mainstream Buddhist country are explored well from both perspectives and set against a backdrop of stunning scenery, the film is a rich sensory experience. However drawn out over two-and-a-half hours, the journey often feels long and tedious. (ASim)
BY ALICIA SIM