Silence ★★★★

Last Temptation and Silence to me are the yin and yang of Scorsese's religious epics, as one actually pulls you closer to God while the other ruthlessly pushes you away.

Detailing the eventful life of a Portuguese priest spreading Christianity in Japan while questioning his own faith, Silence is a witty take on the profound effects of religions on the human psyche, and the inevitable impacts on the belief system. During its somewhat demanding 160-minute runtime, Silence constantly challenges the audience with questions regarding the meaning of religions, and the mystery of God's "silence" to all the sufferings, either via the inner monologues from a mesmerizing Andrew Garfield, or simply by providing gruesome, somewhat patronizing sequences of the soul crushing punishments inflicted on the Japanese Christians. You don't see as much of eye-opening, visually pleasing sequences that frequent the Last Temptation, as the unfiltered, emotionally shattering prosecutions against other beliefs. This is definitely a much more realistic representation of a dark history, characteristic of an almost documentary style, minimalistic approach, that's going to piss of tons of people, especially those with a fervent belief system already established, but this is exactly the beauty of thought-provoking movies, where the perceptions of the audience are expected to be tested, or even altered for good, regardless of your own religion and belief. Highly recommended.

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