Since Andrew Garfield has eschewed the red pajamas of blockbuster franchise fronting for Spiderman, he has become a kind of dangling participle of the acting world, meant to modify the mythical noun of Actor but finding nothing in Hollywood to satisfy the life sentence that is the craft. Sounds pretty literary, huh? Well, enter Martin Scorsese with renown author Shusaku Endo, a Japanese literary titan who died in 1996 at the age of 73, and was practically the only acclaimed novelist from Japan to write from the POV of a Roman Catholic. The story goes that at age 11, Endo’s Roman Catholic aunt somehow convinced him to be baptized. And what follows is a Japanese glimpse into a conversion world of a Western religion that changes his life as a writer, but moves his story lines through the character perspective of Westerner’s eyes, specifically in the book SILENCE that centers around the travails of Portuguese missionaries circa the 17th century.
Talk about competing spiritual influences, Endo’s 1966 book (now adapted to screen) SILENCE tells the story of two of these Christian missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who weather the ultimate test of their faith when they voyage to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) – at a time when Christianity is outlawed in the 1600’s as mentioned and their presence forbidden.
Imagine it took Scorsese 28 years to develop, fund, and ultimately crank out this film, a spiritual journey into the mind of Shusaku Endo in itself.
Watch for Adam Driver to be very Adam Driver-y, as he imbues his performance with that peculiar talent he possesses, which one hopes won’t possess him someday. And of course Liam Neeson, off the TAKEN money-making treadmill, has a chance to buy back his soul here with what looks to be a phenomenally redemptive performance.
The hashtag is #SilenceMovie; SILENCE slips into theaters December 23, in time for that biggest of Western religious (but now commercial and cloying) holiday celebrations a/k/a Christmas.
Marty Scorses is quite the auteur, reaching into the weeds here for a rare blossom, storytellingwise. How it fits in with the rest of his work, you can figure out from this info graphic from our friends at Graphiq! Happy hunting for a theme, lol.
SCREENMANCER is a gathering place for people who make movies and have religious differences without arguments.
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