‘Silence’ is two hours and 41 minutes of pain
“Silence” is like a self-inflicted wound that eventually leads to an infection. It bombards viewers with a mixture of brutality and beliefs that never leads to any awareness outside the many ways of suffering. And the suffering is severe — both for the characters in the film and any person brave enough to view this 161-minute epic drama. That’s two hours and 41 minutes of pain.
Nothing good ever happens in “Silence.” Ever. At times there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s not what it appears to be. Just another creative way to torture a Christian or bore a viewer with a scene that devours all life in sight. The film is based on a successful novel of the same name by Shūsaku Endō written in the 60s. As odd as it may seem for someone who has made a living filming some of the greatest gangster movies of all time, “Silence” is somewhat of a “passion project” for director Martin Scorsese.
Scorsese has allegedly been trying to get this movie made since about 1966, but no production company would take such a risk. After watching it, it’s very easy to see why he had so much trouble. “Silence” is a terrible movie that nearly impossible to sit through without feeling an urge to hit the skip button on your remote. It was hard enough watching it. I can’t imagine what kind of nightmare it would be to read in script form. My heart goes out to all those who read this and turned it down over the years. You’re so strong!