Calvary (2014)

Director: John Michael McDonagh

Writer: John Michael McDonagh (Screenplay)

Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran

 

Plot: After he is threatened during a confession, a good-natured priest must battle the dark forces closing in around him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Drama That Misses The Point at Times

 

Story: Calvary starts as mid-mannered priest Father James (Gleeson) gets a warning from one of his worshippers that he will kill him in one week on the beach during confession. Father James daughter Fiona (Reilly) comes to visit as we see how Father James goes about his normal routine with the locals.

As the week goes by we see how Father James deals atheist doctor Drank Harte (Gillen), butcher Jack Brennan (O’Dowd), rich member of the village Michael Fitzgerald (Moran) and many others, but he leads to the end of the week questioning his own existence and whether the man can go through with it.

 

Thoughts on Calvary

 

Characters – Father James is a well-liked priest that receives a threat during confession, but he doesn’t take it too seriously as he continues to show how respected he is around the village even with the people with no faith. Fiona Lavelle is Father James’ daughter from his time when he was married, she is having her own problems but know the two are all they have after her mother’s death. Jack is the local butcher that has gone through a separation with his wife but getting on with his life for the most part, he doesn’t have full faith but does have some faith.

PerformanceBrendan Gleeson is fantastic in this leading role as the priest who gets on with everyone and must face is own place in the world. Kelly Reilly is good in her role but like the rest of the cast they do all play second fiddle to Gleeson. Chris O’Dowd is good too but he does fall into the crowd of the supporting cast.

StoryShowing a week in the life of a priest in a small community is interesting through the story side of everything, we are left to see him learn about himself as he does question parts of his faith while staying strong for the people who need him. This story does keep you engaged throughout the film even if it feels like not much is happening.

ComedyThe comedy is all dark comedy take a darker look at a small village community as they get to question their faith.

SettingsThe small town community helps this movie shine as we are left to see how Father James deals with his potential impending death at the hands of one of the locals.

Scene of the Movie – Dr Frank’s scenes get the most laughs.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The idea could have been strong to the point of everything.

Final ThoughtsThis is a strong dark comedy that does want to address a serious issue but doesn’t cover it in enough time, instead focusing on other parts of the community.

 

Overall: Good drama well worth watching.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Random – # – The 33 (2015)

Director: Patricia Riggen

Writer: Mikko Alanne, Craig Borten, Michael Thomas, Jose Rivera (Screenplay) Hector Tobar (Book)

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, James Brolin, Lou Diamond Phillips, Mario Casas

 

Plot: Based on the real-life event, when a gold and copper mine collapses, it traps 33 miners underground for 69 days.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Incredible True Story, Slow Film

 

Story: The 33 starts as we follow our Chilean miners including family man Mario Sepulveda (Banderas) and safety inspector Don Lucho (Phillips) who is reluctantly backs down from their boss about the conditions inside the mine, believing the mountain will start to collapse in on itself.

When the mine does collapse, it leaves all 33 miners trapped hoping they might get rescued, well that is inside the mine. Outside the mine the miner’s families led by Maria Segovia (Binoche) demanded answers and help from the government with Laurence Golborne (Santoro) calling the shots, doing the best he can to find a way to rescue the miners. This is the incredible story of how the Chilean miners survived and were rescued.

 

Thoughts on The 33

 

Characters/PerformanceThe film is based on the real people involved, Mario is the one that takes control inside the mine, the reluctant hero even against the odds. Laurence is the government man that must do the right thing while working with the experts as well as keep the families happy. Maria is the sister of one of the miners and leads the protest to find answers about her brother and other miners.

Performance wise, Banderas shows himself to be the biggest star within the mine, we do get strange casting choices up next because we have a French actress playing a Chilean lady, and Irish man as a Chilean. But away from this we have good performances all around from the whole cast.

StoryThe story is one that we all followed on the news, it was one of the most must watch news stories of the 21st Century. Seeing the amazing story of how the men survived, the way a small town can together to bring a nation, then the world to see, beg and pray for these men is an incredible story of courage, strength and belief in the human race.

Biography/HistoryWhile we don’t truly get to know the men personally, we do see the 69 days that changed their lives. This will go down in history as one of our moments of greatness as a human race.

SettingsThe film is set between the mine which shows us just how trapped the character will be but we also see how the family members are working towards rescue.

Final ThoughtsThis is an incredible story that was one we followed and seeing this brings back the memories but in places this is slightly slow.

 

Overall: Great glimpse into history.

Rating