Let’s just pause for a moment to convey the sense of anticipation and excitement surrounding Martin Scorsese’s latest film. It’s… big. Even before this first little peek, the Oscar buzzards were circling over the iconic director’s long-time passion project, pre-primed to shower their love.
Silence only cemented its Christmas release date in October and its promotional campaign has just kicked off little over a month before the film hits cinemas. It would be an understatement to say that we’ve been waiting on tenterhooks for this film, which has remained one of the most highly anticipated in recent years, not least because its director seems to have channeled his heart and soul into it.
In an interview with Deadline, the film’s star, Adam Driver described Silence as, “similar to [Roland Joffe’s] The Mission… There’s a bit of Homer’s Odyssey in that these two young priests are travelling the world on a massive quest.” Silence may be a Homer-esque epic that explores the nature of Christianity, but that could also refer to the film’s Odyssey-like gestation period since Scorsese wrote his first draft back in the early ’90s.
The plan was to begin shooting it directly after Gangs of New York (2002) with Daniel Day-Lewis, Gael Garcia Bernel and Benicio Del Toro as the original stars. All three dropped out due to the many delays and financial hiccups.
Now it’s here with Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield and Driver who take the lead as the three 17th century Portuguese Jesuit priests. Based on Shusaki Endo’s 1966 novel, Garfield and Driver’s characters venture into the Japanese jungle to find their mentor and spread the gospel of Christianity, only to be met with hostility and violence.
The trailer’s striking snapshots of brutality and crucifixions are overlaid with screeching violins. It all concludes with the punchy closer, which pinpoints the film’s title, as Garfield’s character whispers, ‘I pray, but I am lost. Am I praying to silence?’.
After watching the gripping trailer for a movie that Scorsese has been working for the majority of his career, we couldn’t be more stoked for the 23rd December (or 1 January in the UK).
Published 23 Nov 2016