Sunday, August 3, 2014

Movie Review of the Irish Film "Calvary"

My husband suggested seeing a movie and asked me to choose from three movies:

Boyhood, which was based on the premise of what would happen if a movie followed a family over a decade;

Calvary, which is described by The New York Times as a "mordantly funny murder mystery;

and A Most Wanted Man, a John le Carre espionage-thriller, in which actor Philip Seymour Hoffman starred in his last major role.

Boyhood didn't sound like it had plot and would be a "cinema verite." The John le Carre espionage-thriller could be depressing and confusing. I chose Calvary, and off we went to a Friday matinee in Westwood Pavilion.

Seeing a movie, any movie, involves hope and trust. A viewer surrenders to the film; for around two hours, the viewer suspends his/her life to follow the fictive dream of the film maker. Movies are very seductive. The viewer sits down,with expectation; the lights dim; there are trailers and even while these are going on, the viewer feels anticipation building up inside. Then finally the movie starts, and the viewer is whisked away to another time and place.

I watched Calvary with this expectation. It's set in Ireland; the protagonist is a priest; there is tension when someone threatens to kill him; some characters in his village are introduced. Their lives and conflicts are interesting, but they are all quite tormented; and things only get worse. It did dawn on my why the movie is titled "Calvary."

Calvary is not a happy movie. It is downright depressing. It has to do with priests and sex abuse and open, festering wounds. Let me clarify that the movie was technically well-done. What I'm talking about is its unrelenting grimness that grew darker as the movie unfolded. We left the movie theater feeling exhausted. Now, with all the depressing world news, I don't need dark, heavy movies.

Light and fun are right for me now, like a couple of old movies which I watched on Netflix recently: Under the Tuscan Sun and Romancing the Stone.

Read also
YouTube on my mind
Cecilia's Mini-Reviews of Holiday Movies
The Wicked Catholic Nuns of Youth

This is all for now,

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