Martin Scorsese’s “Silence” tells a quiet tale about 17th-century missionaries

“It’s amazing that, with all the things against the film, that it got made and it’s going to be shown,” said Martin Scorsese, director of the critically acclaimed film “Silence.” “There was a lot of sacrifice, a lot of problems, a lot of delays. But this is where I felt I should spend my time.”

Scorsese has been working on “Silence” for the past 28 years. In 1988, his religious-themed film “The Last Temptation of Christ” was met with much controversy and backlash from some communities. Shortly after its release, Scorsese began working on “Silence” — a film that also deals with religion and questioning faith — with rigorous craftsmanship, making sure the themes were handled in the right manner.

Now, despite the many roadblocks and obstacles Scorsese had to get past, “Silence” has finally been released. Starring Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Liam Neeson, it’s safe to say that the film was worth the long wait.

Seventeenth-century Japan, the place where even the mention of the gospel could get you imprisoned or even killed. It is also the place where Father Ferreira (Neeson) was sent by the Catholic church as a working missionary. He never returned.

There have been unconfirmed reports that Father Ferreira denounced the faith and now peacefully resides in Japan. Others think this is impossible, seeing how Father Ferreira was a dedicated Catholic, and instead believe he must be dead. In order to settle the matter, Father Rodrigues (Garfield) and Father Garrpe (Driver) request to go to Japan to search for Father Ferreira and find out what really happened.

They know their journey will be a dangerous one. Despite knowing of and being able to hide in a small Christian community, everyone else in the country wants the two of them killed. And once Father Rodrigues and Garrpe find the true horror that awaits them, their faith is indeed tested and ultimately brought to its limits, seeing just how much they are willing to endure.

Based on the 1966 novel “Silence” by Shusaku Endo and thematically similar to the 1986 film “The Mission” (the one you probably had to watch in your DCM class), which also starred Liam Neeson as a missionary, “Silence” is a thought-provoking film that contains a captivating story and outstanding acting.

Andrew Garfield, who has given two stellar performances this year with “Silence” and “Hacksaw Ridge” and is bound to be nominated for at least one of them, shines in the lead role by giving a daring and committed performance. Adam Driver, whose character is often contrasted with Garfield’s, is also great. Driver has become one of the most talented up and coming actors of this generation. And while Liam Neeson isn’t in the movie for long, his role serves as important to the larger story, and he plays it well.

As with many Scorsese films, “Silence” clocks in at nearly three hours long. However, despite the long runtime, the film rarely slows down or feel like it goes on for too long.

While not as re-watchable or gleefully entertaining as some of other Scorsese films like “Goodfellas” or “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Silence” is a masterfully crafted, quiet film that has much going on underneath the story. Faith is hard. Sometimes you wait and wait for an answer and it never comes. Sometimes there are no right answers. Scorsese tackles these large questions with dignity and class, creating a film that is always careful not to preach at us but rather invites us to experience the hardships of Father Rodrigues and Garrpe. “Silence” is a film that people and film fans are bound to be talking about for years to come.