I went with a friend to see the movie Silence. It looked good and seemed interesting in the previews, and has good reviews online, but to me , it was really slow and boring.
The plot revolves around two Catholic Priests from Portugal in the early half of the 17th century who embark on a trek to Japan to find their missing comrade, and to further missionize the island during a time a great suppression of the religion by the Tokugawa shogunate.
With such subject matter you might think this would be an epic masterpiece of, but instead it was just undynamic and uninspired. The characters seemed flat and undeveloped, and there was virtually no action at all. Good movies tend to have peaks and valleys. This was all valleys. The subject matter was pretty heavy, with the persecution of Christians in Japan during the early half of the 17th century, but I didn’t sense any real depth to the story or characters and comic relief was almost non-existent. That’s just the production side.
I also felt like it portrayed Buddhism as a sinister, despondent cult with no redeemable doctrine. While it emphasized the atrocities committed by the Japanese government against the Christians, portraying Christianity as if it would deliver the people from such abuse, it ignored that at the exact same time in Europe the witch-burnings and torture and killings of heretics was at its height. So, not only did I find the movie boring, I felt like it insulted my intelligence.
If you’re interested in watching Silence because you hope to see representations of feudal Japanese society and samurai customs you’ll be disappointed as there is virtually no culture portrayed in this film.
While watching it I felt like director Martin Scorsese and writer Jay Cocks were more interested in creating sympathy and a sense of righteousness for the Jesuit priests than they were in telling a good story. I can understand why practicing Catholics and other Christians may find the film as providing some form of credibility for their faith, but I just was not satisfied.
I really found the movie to be uninspired, uninteresting, and unenjoyable. It was painfully boring.