I took advantage of the afternoon off one day this past week to go see the flick Silence.
I've taken a while to digest it. It's a beautiful flick. Brutal, but beautiful.
My initial reaction was negative.
It's a little long. I'll say that. Scorsese has had a pacing problem for a while. Bringing out the Dead and The Departed are aberrations in that regard, over his work for the past 25 years or so.
Also: I did not enjoy Andrew Garfield's performance. At all. I've tried with Garfield. There's something in his performances that I can't get past. I wish I could place a finger on it. I just do not enjoy his work.
The movie's stuck with me, though. I want to watch the movie again, though.
I was the first in the theater. I thought, for a second, that it'd be one of those glorious experiences where I had the theater to myself. It wasn't to be, though. A couple walked in a couple minutes later. And a fourth person walked in minutes after that.
Then, the lights went down, and the trailers started (I'm really, really curious about A Cure for Wellness, by the way). And during the trailers, a group walks in. A group of maybe 20 folks. All older. A couple of them use walkers, and take seats near the entrance hall.
It quickly becomes apparent that the Jesuit priests have a cheering section. The retirees down front.
For those unfamiliar with the story, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver play priests sent to track down a mentor and missionary in Japan, who has been rumored to have abandoned his faith.
The priests are in hiding, as the persecution of Christians is the law of the land.
There are moments, though, when the priests find those of Faith in the land. Much to the elation of the retirement set down front. There are outbursts.
And most often: Amen.
There is one point in the movie, where Andrew Garfield's Rodrigues is in a tense exchange with Japanese authorities. He makes an analogy about not being able to grow trees on poison ground, but is hesitant to use the word "poisoned."
There is a climactic pause, before he says the word.
At which point one among the set down front cries out "Say it!"
Here's the thing. The movie isn't a rah! rah! rah! flick. At least, I didn't take it as such. These outbursts are annoying, to the point of distraction.
Apparently for one of the folks who came in just after me, as he gets up, and goes to the gentleman who cried out. I can't hear the exchange--they're six or seven rows up. I can see gestures. I do hear the older gentleman's reply "I am
watching the movie."
But, the talk was effective. There are fewer outbursts. A couple of Amens. A hallelujah.
The movie ends. The 32 ounce bottle of water I'd rented needed to be deposited. I wandered down the steps to note a couple members of the large group wiping tears away.
Like I said. I want to watch the movie again.
So that the Silence won't be broken.....