Two Jesuit priests travel to seventeenth century Japan which has, under the Tokugawa shogunate, banned Catholicism and almost all foreign contact.
'Silence' Martin's Scorsese new movie follows the 'Last Temptation of Christ', a religious epic directed by Martin Scorsese and which received critical acclaim. In fact, it was described by Mother Angelica as a Holocaust movie with the power to consume souls. The film, that was centered on the story of Jesus as he battled away earthly temptations such as fear, depression, reluctance, doubt, and lust hasn’t prevented Scorsese from directing yet another religious epic, 'Silence', an upcoming drama that is based on Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel of the same name.
For the director, Martin Scorsese, 'Silence' is just a movie. The movie has been a passion for the filmmaker and has remained high in his priorities ever since some decades ago when he first read the book.
The film follows the story of two 17th century Jesuit missionaries who are sent to Japan in time during when Christians are mistreated for their faith. Two young Portuguese Jesuits, Father Rodriguez, and Father Francisco, have been sent to investigate existing reports that their mentor has committed apostasy. The film relates to the violence and persecution of Christians and the hardships endured by these Jesuit priests. The two Jesuit priests arrive in Japan where they find the local Christian population all driven underground where they are forced by security officers to trample on a curved image of Christ. Those that refuse are killed through a painful slow death.
Author Shusaku Endo said he was inspired by Federico Fellini's 'La Strada' (1954) in conceiving this story, particularly the character of Kichijiro
The two Jesuits are finally captured and forced to watch as the Japanese Christians are painfully killed due to their faith. The act of martyrdom comes in no glory as they are brutal and cruel. Before the arrival of the priests, the authorities had been pushing priests to renounce their faith by forcing them to watch the torture they inflict on other Christians. The priest's journey is one of struggle as he understands the suffering in defense of one’s faith. However, he doubts whether is selfish and merciless to refuse to denounce his faith when it ends another person’s pain.
When the project was announced, Daniel Day-Lewis, Gael García Bernal and Benicio Del Toro were cast in the lead roles. They all dropped out of the project after repeated delays in the production's development
The film features Andrew Garfield ('The Amazing Spiderman', 'Social Network') as Father Rodriguez, a Jesuit priest who suffers greatly on the basis of his faith. Adam Driver ('Paterson', 'Midnight Special') as Francisco Garrpe a Jesuit priest who accompanies Father Rodriguez in search of their mentor. Liam Neeson ('Taken', 'Non-stop') is cast as Father Cristovao Ferreira, the mentor Father Rodriguez come to search for from claims that he has committed apostasy. Tadanobu Asano ('Battleship', '47 Ronin') is cast as the interpreter for the priests, Ciaran Hinds ('John Carter', 'The Woman in Black') cast as Father Valignano and Yosuke Kubozuka ('Helter Skelter', 'Ichi') cast as Kichnjiro. To get them to character, the lead actors were mentored by a Jesuit priest who led them into seven days of silence in Wales.
Scorsese has been attempting to produce 'Silence' made for approximately 30 years.
After he read the novel in 1989, Scorsese was filled up with a desire to direct the movie and instantly snapped the film rights. He even began telling
May 2016, Mayor Ko Wen -
Making 'Silence' was a major undertaking with the total number of crew and cast going up to 750. The $47 million was shot in Taiwan for eight months. In the mid of production, there was an accident which involved an existing structure on the backlot of CMPC, which had previously been deemed unsafe for the production. However, during the repair following the incident, one of the contractor's employees passed away while two others sustained injuries.
Producer Irwin Walker knew from 'Raging Bull' and 'Goodfellas' helped with the dozens of law cases that threatened the production of the movie. The principal actors, Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield cut out on their fees for the production. In fact, they are suspected to have taken far less than their usual quote and might have worked on the Screen Actors Guild Scale.
Liam Neeson previously played another Jesuit priest in The Mission (1986), and that movie's story was also set in the seventeenth century
1. Adam Driver is said to have lost more than fifty pounds for the role
With the help of a nutritionist, Adam Driver lost up to fifty pounds to play the role of Father Francisco. When asked about it, he quoted that it involved a lot of control, which is required of every actor; he added that it was also about the suffering as depicted by his character in the movie. When filming was done, he supposedly went back to his triple breakfasts.
2. Andrew Garfield received some deep religious training to take up priest role
Rev James Martin who is a Jesuit, the editor and author of the Jesuit News Publication worked with both Garfield and Driver to adequately prepare them for their roles. Garfield is said to have spent close to a year studying the Jesuit faith. He is also has taken part in a silent retreat that lasted for a week and studied so much that he eventually did away with lines that he claimed weren’t realistic for the faith he had learned about. He claimed to have been overwhelmed by the Jesuit spirituality.
Father Rodriguez: 'I pray but I am lost. Am I just praying to silence?'
3. The Pope just might watch the movie before it hits the US theaters
Though Pope Francis is not expected to be at the screening of the movie for all Jesuits, it is expected that being a Jesuit himself; he will find a way to watch the film before it reaches everyone else. The film will be screened for approximately 400 Jesuits at the Pontifical Oriental Institute.
The film is supposed to kick the theaters on December 23rd just in time to contend for the Oscars 2017. Contrary to previous reports that stated that 'Silence' would be Martin Scorsese’s longest film, the film will only run for 159 minutes.
The film's premiere will be held at the Vatican
Expected Box Office
With the perfect cast, a thrilling theme and hit director, the movie is expected to pull thousands of moviegoers to the theater. The movie is expected to make;
Weekend: $ 60,000,000
Domestic: $ 250,000,000
Worldwide: $ 500,000,000
Hopefully, after about three decades of patience, 'Silence' will turn out to be as captivating, addictive and intoxicating just like the book.