Rodrigo Prieto is laudable for this camera and his Academy Awards nomination is well deserving. The film is visually striking and undeniably gorgeous even in the most excruciating sequences of gore and trauma. The background score adds a layer of depth to this synchronous mysticism.
The film is a powerful narrative which ruminates the essence of religion, ultimately painting a brooding portrait of faith in unanswered prayers. Andrew Garfield’s performance is intense and cerebral. H
e begins to doubt his faith and his resolve to be sacrificed is lost in a deep contemplation, where he commits the unforgivable sin of pride by comparing himself to Christ. His character is a proxy to director’s very own doubts. He prays unto silence and an incomplete dialogue of his conversation with Lord fuels his mounting disillusionment. Both Adam Silver and Liam Nees are effective in their small roles and so is the rest of the Japanese cast.
Silence is a long, intimidating, relentless depiction of solitude and suffering. The film has its flaws but never misses to highlight the strength of faith. It is the director’s most passionate project, his tribute to the faith that shaped him.