Blu-ray/Film Review: “Silence”

A still from Martin Scorsese's “Silence”. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

Eduardo Hilario
El Observador

In his long line of fantastic films, “Goodfellas”, “Taxi Driver”, “The Wolf of Wall Street”, Filmmaker Martin Scorsese has looked into the grit and marvelous within American life. His latest film, “Silence”, is another excellent film to add to Scorsese’s legacy, but in this case it takes audiences into  the world of religion and spirituality within the world of 17th century Feudal Japan.

As aforementioned, taking place in the mid 17th century, the film follows Father Sebatiao Rodrigues and Father Francisco Garrpe, played by Andrew Garfield (Amazing Spiderman 1,2) and Adam Driver (Girls, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), as they are on a dangerous quest to find Father Cristovao, played by Liam Neeson (Taken 1,2,3) after they receive a letter stating the horrors that Christians and the priests who help them hear the word of god are suffering through in a land (Japan) where the practice of Christianity is punishable with torture and eventually, death.

The movie does an excellent job of showing how event may have gone down in the 17th century after Christianity was outlawed by the Tokugawa shogunate, the last feudal Japanese military government between 1600 and 1868. It shows that those that practice Christianity and the priests who help them practice their faith were made do either denounce their faith or be tortured and killed for it. The beauty of the Japanese countryside is counteracted by the conditions the Japanese Christians live in trying to hide from the prosecution of the Japanese government at the time, holding mass in basements in the dead of night.

As the Blu-ray goes, the films 1080p transfer is excellent, with Scorsese’s cinematography in wonderful detail. The specifications of the Blu-ray are as followed: 1080p high definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles. The Blu-ray combo features the digital HD version as well, allowing you, like many Blu-ray copies of today, to access a digital version of the film through UltraViolet platform.

Additionally there is a interesting bonus feature entitled “Martin Scorsese’s Journey into Silence”, which adds depth and background to the already great film and it’s inception, as well as Scorsese’s hunt over the years for this type of film.

This movie is a great watch for anyone who like Scorsese’s films, steady and beautifully shot, and narrative-wise a fascinating study into the rarely heard of dangers that came with being a Christian in Feudal Japan.