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.
Performance – Brendan 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.
Story – Showing 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.
Comedy – The comedy is all dark comedy take a darker look at a small village community as they get to question their faith.
Scene of the Movie – Dr Frank’s scenes get the most laughs.
Final Thoughts – This 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.