Silence, an adaptation of the Japanese novel of the same name and the latest effort from Martin Scorsese, is nearly three hours long. Scorsese is known for the long length of his films so this wasn’t a surprise, but it remained a focal point in my mind as I was going into the cinema. Three hours in a packed and stuffy cinema watching a film about the spiritual journey of two Jesuit priests who have travelled to 17th century Japan during the persecution of Christians to seek out their lost mentor. It’s a challenge which requires preparation, so I stocked up with a packet of chips, M&Ms, and a large Pepsi. As you can imagine, finding loud moments in a film called Silence to take a bite of your crunchy chips is a slow endeavour. Perhaps this is an apt analogy for the film itself.
Taraji P. Henson as a quiet, reserved mathematician.
Take a moment to ponder this thought because I’ve been pondering it ever since I found out about this film. The idea of the outgoing, outspoken, and confidant Taraji P. Henson playing this type of character made me raise my eyebrow. Those who have seen Henson as the abrasive and acid-tongued Cookie Lyon on Empire, or the steely and professional Detective Joss Carter on Person of Interest will understand where I’m coming from. Henson didn’t seem like the right fit for this role.