Clocking in at about two hours and thirty-five minutes when you subtract credits, "Silence" is definitely a very long film. In fact, I think it gets a bit too long in areas. The first hour or so is a bit slow, and contains many parts that are overly lengthy. After that time, the film's pace begins to quicken up, and the sequences begin to feel more purposeful with their timing. The characters are very well-written and dynamic, and the story is interesting overall. The film also poses a lot of existential questions, and they are incorporated effectively rather than in a preachy way. That being said, there are some metaphorical ideas that are introduced, but don't exactly feel fully developed.
The technical elements of this film are as impressive as you can come to expect from Scorsese. The cinematography is truly beautiful, with every shot being created to develop the meaning of the film. Every detail in the film is designed to create the theme of the film, including the costume design, which is thoroughly impressive, and the subtleties in the dialogue. I also loved how Scorsese very seldom used score, instead using diegetic sound to build the atmosphere, like the sound of nature or actual musicians playing in the film.
The acting of Andrew Garfield is phenomenal in this film. His spiritual crisis is believable, and he shows a great deal of emotion, carrying the story in moments that have little dialogue. Adam Driver is also good, supporting Garfield well. The Japanese actors in the film are very strong too. I especially like Issey Ogota, who played the Inquisitor, because he delivered his lines in a way that made the motivations of his character more ambiguous, which definitely works for what Scorsese was aiming for.
Overall, I can see the passion that was put into "Silence" as it is an excellent film. However, it does begin a bit slowly and there are some ideas that weren't developed to the extent which they should have been.
Big Tuna's Rating: A-
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Maybe, but it is extremely long.