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Felt the movies plot became tedious. Faileing to excite, despite the intriguing theme of religion being intwined within ones identity. I felt little surprise to any conclusion.
This is one of my favorite movies ever.
A delibirative piece of filming to be impassionate about acts that by definition passionate. The stagnant realism of the director is a choice that to some will make the film dull on storytelling but surely it has good viewing moments.
Scorsese boggles the mind. This film is intense precisely because of its own logic. Wherein Christians are ostricized, and then killed. And the only way to escape death is to renounce Christ, by stepping on a plate that has His face on it. Anyway, I'd like to see Scorsese explore these themes more often. He could definitely make a movie about Christianity in America today.
Original movie. Scorsese did not care about mainstream appeal and profits when writing this. A true masterpiece, without compromises
I would consider this film to be the best ‘religious' movie I have ever seen having not had the pleasure of watching Diary of a Country Priest (1951) or Elmer Gantry (1960). As an atheist I often find this sort of film to be an absolute chore as the film makes up it's mind about faith five minutes in and the rest of the film is either torture porn or Christians fetishizing their weird persecution complex in our modern age. This film fell into neither of those traps as it decides to ask questions about faith that are difficult to answer and to provide the audience with a flawed main character instead of a perfect man of a god, more of a real Christian than Bernadette Soubirous in The Song of Bernadette (1943). This was one of the best films of 2016 and it's a shame it got so overlooked when considering how great it is.
Two Portuguese missionaries Sebastiao Rodrigues, Andrew Garfield, and Francisco Garupe, Adam Driver, decide to travel to Japan in order to find their long lost mentor Cristovao Ferreira, Liam Neeson, who is suspected to have renounced his faith. Christians are widely persecuted in Japan as they are urged to ‘trample' an image of god or face a painful death of prolonged torture. Rodrigues and Garupe encounter several Christians when they arrive in Japan but quickly experience the wrath of the authorities and see just how punishing the conditions are for the few Christians who remain. They split up as they decide to explore different islands and Rodrigues falls into the hands of the Japanese due to the actions of the deceitful Kichijiro, Yosuke Kubozuka. He is forced to consider whether his pride in connection to his own faith is more important than the suffering of others and ultimately makes an important sacrifice.
The film refuses to give easy answers or to present one sided questions when it very easily could and while it is very clear that the director is Catholic he also displays the fact that he has doubts and sees the problems with the Catholic church. We see questions about redemption and forgiveness brought to the fore through the character of Kichijiro who we initially see as a villain but later warm to after he confesses. The turn that he takes after this however proves that not all people are worthy of forgiveness as he continually betrays those close to him, including Rodrigues, for his own gain but then confesses in order not to feel guilt. A lot of Scorsese's work deals with forgiveness but this film didn't need violence or gore to show how guilt can tear people apart even as they appear to be doing fine and I was so happy that we got to go on such an interesting journey with such an unexpected character.
We also see the main character Rodrigues question his own beliefs as we see that his steadfast refusal to renounce his faith is more connected to his own pride and fear of ridicule than to any sense of moral responsibility. During one of the most stunning scenes of the film he watches his reflection in a pool of water before imagining his face morphing into that of Jesus. He really believes that he is a martyr like the much loved Jesus and yet we see that he is on the sidelines watching others suffer for him throughout most of the film. Of course this is a torture in itself but the audience slowly becomes clear on the fact that Rodrigues views his own personal problems as being bigger than the suffering of his Japanese followers, this makes the climactic decision all the more affecting.
This is a better film than The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) because it feels more fully realized and is engaging throughout instead of being dull during it's first three quarters. That's not to say his other film that is directly about Christianity is not worth watching, it is a very interesting experience, but this film approaches being a masterpiece and I expect to get even more out of it when I watch it again at some point in the future.
this is a masterpiece
Powerful film that challenges your faith in the best ways.
Great movie, Scorsese showing why is one of the best
Substantive look at a clash of cultures. And a little clever all the way around, including the film's title. Plus, good performances and assured direction make this worth viewing at least once.