As with most of Scorsese’s spiritual films, the early reviews have praised the filmmaker’s technical prowess, but the film’s dramatization of religious and spiritual themes have met varying degrees of success. Some call it one of his most profound and deeply personal films to date, while others have said its attempt at visualizing the internal conflict of its lead protagonists is only semi-successful. The same goes for the film’s acting. A number of critics celebrate the work of Garfield, Driver, and Neeson in it, and others lament the inability of the performances to work within the film’s complex issues.
The consensus seems to be that this is, at the very least, yet another striking visual and technical achievement for Scorsese, whose long and impressive filmography has resulted in the most beloved and critically-acclaimed filmmakers that cinema has seen. His 30-year fight to bring Silence to the big screen has paid off in that regard, but whether or not it’s the spiritual or thematic home run that he wanted it to be is subject to debate. It’s shaping up to be one of the biggest wild cards in these last few weeks of the year, and considering its divisive political and religious themes, it will be interesting to see how well Silence is able to resonate with general moviegoers.