HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Simon
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Calvary They Know Not What They Do
Year: 2014
Director: John Michael McDonagh
Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O'Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aiden Gillen, Dylan Moran, Isaach De Bankolé, M. Emmet Walsh, Marie-Josée Croze, Domhnall Gleeson, David Wilmot, Pat Shortt, Gary Lydon, Killian Scott, Orla O'Rourke, Owen Sharpe, David McSavage
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is Sunday morning and Father James (Brendan Gleeson) is taking confession, but the last member of the congregation to enter the booth has some surprising things to say. This man tells the priest he was sexually abused by one of the Catholic Church for some years as a child, week in, week out, and the corrosive effect of the ordeal has left him wishing to lash out. But he cannot kill the priest who regularly assaulted him for he died a long time before, and when Father James asks him if he has ever considered professional help to cope the advice is thrown back as the man does not wish to cope, he wants to nurse his anger until he attacks. To do that, he will not kill a paedophile priest, he will kill an innocent. He will kill Father James.

Writer and director John Michael McDonagh and actor Brendan Gleeson reteamed after the international success of The Guard for another comedy drama, though in spite of the threat of violent death hanging over the protagonist they played down any thriller aspect in favour of long ruminations on the place of forgiveness in society. Specifically, whether the religious body who promoted forgiveness should be forgiven itself for the grave misdemeanours its representatives had committed: the topic of child-molesting priests was an extremely emotive one and had by the point this was released shaken the Catholic Church to its foundations, yet in a way that suggested nothing had been taken on board many felt justice had not been served.

Which led us to the premise of Calvary, as the title indicated placing a pious man in the position of scapegoat for the sins of mankind, or at least the part of mankind who preached the Biblical tenets while breaking them in horribly hypocritical fashion. Father James was that man, and in a difficult role Gleeson once more demonstrated is skill with holding together a film that without him at its centre would have been something of a shambles. You could see what McDonagh was getting at in his musings over theology and morality, not to mention sacrifice for the greater good, except the impending sacrifice wouldn't be for anyone's good, with Father James potentially not dying for anyone's sins, more with his life on the line as an act of outright vengeance for what he did not do.

It's as if society, with the villagers standing in for them, demanded some retribution that it felt it was not winning and in lieu of punishing the guilty, punishing the innocent was the next best thing. In that way the other actors were wheeled on to do their party pieces in a very stop-start manner, summing up various elements of the community to confront the good priest with the evil in the world that they are all too familiar with yet his advice will do nothing to allieviate the soul-destroying effects of. Therefore time and again, almost as if McDonagh had secured the services of a cast of fairly well-kent faces for a short period each, and mixed them all up to craft an ensemble, Father James finds he cannot help in the way that priests were supposed to, and realises he is a liability.

Chris O'Dowd is a butcher who may be beating his wife, doctor Aiden Gillen is a bone-deep cynic who grins his way through his atheism, Dylan Moran is a multimillionaire who keeps inviting the priest over to talk rubbish at him, Isaach De Bankolé is an African mechanic taking his pick of the women in the area, M. Emmet Walsh is an American writer who wants to finish his last book then die, and so on, every one of them damaged people who by all rights Father James should be able to help, but the script has it the only way he can do that is to die for their sins. This builds on the issues of forgiveness that continually emerge, with most pertinently Kelly Reilly as his daughter who is getting over a suicide attempt and has to reconcile her relationship with him, yet even this supposedly would best come about by his death. It's a bleak effort, and very much of its era with its central character a good, kind, decent man predictably buckling under the rotten state of modern existence just as society is demanding, but it would have been more provocative if he had not broken at all. Music by Patrick Cassidy.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1690 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: