Tag Archives: Conspiracy Theory

Spotlight (2015)

Spotlight review

written by Souranath Banerjee

‘They knew and they let it happen! It could’ve been you, it could’ve been me, it could’ve been any of us.’

My Ratings: 4.4/5.

Nowadays very few films have the potential to get under your skin and offend you, get you all rattled and ruffled up, even frustrated and most essentially furious over some series of events that you believe was so unjust.

Since All the President’s Men in 1976, I think this film here, Spotlight, has taken the theme of ‘reporters unveiling a conspiracy theory’ to a new height of extraordinary.

spotlight-poster3Though I probably shall restrict from using the term ‘conspiracy theory‘ in context to the subject matter of this film simply because though the monstrous scandal of child molestation by countless archbishops within the so called ‘protection’ of the Catholic Church and their influential friends was something well covered up but not entirely unknown to the people in general.

Oh yes! It was known for years.

Very well known to the Catholic Church officials up to the highest levels, known to the cops and the lawyers, and was also familiar to the parents and family and neighbors of the abused victims but none of them (these ‘Good Germans’) did anything to stop this never-ending racket of rape and sexual harassment of innumerable helpless minors.

spotlight-poster1Until a group of four special-force journalists of the Boston Globe newspaper collectively known as the ‘spotlight’ started digging into this matter with the request of their new Jewish editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber).

Fortunately the spotlight team consisted of some of the most courageous and sincere journalists of the time – Walter Robinson (Michael Keaton), Mike Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James) and they did an extensive investigation and finally came up with the story printed on the front page of The Boston Globe in January 2002 that shook the entire Catholic Church and people’s belief on it down to the core.

The paper won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for its brilliance in investigative journalism, a celebration of the ‘freedom of press‘.

spotlight-poster2Written and directed by Tom McCarthy (his directional debut The Station Agent is one of my all time favorite), and here also, he has done a tremendous job. The pace and the overall effect of the film is so intense that it gives you the feel of a classic thriller. 

Exceptional acting qualities displayed all around, not to forget Stanley TucciNeal HuffJohn SlatteryBilly Crudup and the voice of Richard Jenkins supported the main cast with great conviction.

I guess the scenes where the victims (survivors) narrates their past tragic moments of being molested by the priests are the most painful ones in the film but nevertheless, the most shocking scene that really gives you the chills must be the one where Sacha Pfeiffer manages to get a brief interview of one of the aged priest accused of molestation, who casually admits of fooling around with many kids at his time!

Spotlight is a film of great importance, very well made and unfortunately based on true events.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com

Best Conspiracy Thrillers ever made (10+1list)

Best Conspiracy Thrillers ever made.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Conspiracy theories have always been a part of our lives whether you intend to believe them or not.

Most of them are nothing but fabricated and far-fetched rumors but then again with enough proof and evidence a few of these crazy theories have actually been proved to be true!

Well, fiction or not that’s you to decide – here is some of the best suspense thrillers from across the world based on Conspiracy theories.

Enjoy the ride.

10. Kill the Messenger (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VW4XO-52ubE

kill-the-messenger-posterCIA is accused of numerous illegal activities – one of them being that in the 1980’s they did drug trafficking to fund a war.

The reporter who found out this secret about CIA being involved in arming Contra rebels in Nicaragua with drug money, found his life up-side down.  

Directed by Michael Cuesta, this one is one true story. 

9. Michael Clayton (2007)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kJRYBhG43Q

michael-clayton-posterA multi-billion dollar action suit goes wrong as the lawyer couldn’t fight with his conscience any more but then the law firm needs to fix the situation asap. 

Directed by debutant Tony Gilroy, one of the most chilling conspiracy thrillers with brilliant performances and terrific visuals. 

The ugly game of money and power played at it’s best.

8. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJztRnDxdM8

jacobs-ladder-posterA Vietnam war veteran is disturbed by regular visions and nightmares – but what if he is actually not dreaming it all?

Director Adrian Lyne‘s disturbing psychological horror film is based on MKUltra conspiracy where it is said that in the 1950’s, CIA conducted secret research on how the use of drugs (such as LSD) could enhance a soldier’s physical and  mental capacity!

 7. The Constant Gardener (2005)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4iTjavIkbk

constant-gardener-posterDetermined to find out the reason for his wife’s murder shot in Northern Kenya, a man unknowingly gets entangled into a conspiracy – ugly and dangerous beyond his imagination.

Directed by Fernando Meirelles, the film deals with the exploitation of poor African people as guinea-pigs for the latest medical tests done on them by the rich and powerful countries of the world.

6. All the President’s Men (1976)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLt6djxhNe8

all-the-presidents-men-poster

Clues that lead to dead ends and names that connects to nobody!

Watergate scandal that ultimately lead to American President Nixon’s resignation – two brave young reporters unravel the conspiracy almost at the cost of their jobs and even their lives.  

Directed by Alan J. Pakula, probably the most popular detective thriller in this list.

5. The Insider (1999)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rkvxi5hdbA

insider-posterThe CEOs of Big Tobacco have lied under the oath and they are getting away with it.

Until one man risks everything when he decides to step up and tell the truth to a reporter – but will such damaging news of conspiracy and corruption be shared with the public?

Directed by Michael Mann, one of the best thrillers ever made.

4. The Conversation (1974)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_LJ5ICMbP4

conversation-posterDirected by Francis Ford Coppola, the film is an extremely tensed and voyeuristic take on the violation of people’s privacy.   

surveillance expert spying on a couple suspects that they are going to be murdered – a conspiracy too complicated and heavy for his conscience.

A slow yet dangerous mystery that will keep you hooked till the end.

3. Z (1969)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHB28qfsV2w

z-posterA film made by my favorite director Costa-Gavras – a terrific thriller based on a political conspiracy.

When an investigator tires to uncover the mystery behind the murder of a prominent leftist, he finds himself up against the government officials.

The first foreign language film to be nominated for Best Picture in the Oscars!

A must watch film by the same director Missing (1982).

2. The Lives of Others (2006)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FppW5ml4vdw

lives-of-others-posterA conspiracy film set on 1984 East Berlin – the secret police at work conducting surveillance on whoever they suspect.

The man spying on a writer and his lover finds himself too attached to their lives which becomes a morel conflict for him.

Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, this one is a terrific thriller.

  1. JFK (1991)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w16bYZ-4nmE

jfk-posterThe sudden arrest made in relation to the assassination of Kennedy doesn’t seem too concrete and logical.

And thus the New Orleans DA investigates into what seemed to be America’s most controversial conspiracy of all time. 

Directed by Oliver Stone, the film is an exceptional example of how cinema can be used to tell the truth.

and now, (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).

+1. The Da Vinci Code (2006)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMba3fckhuQ

da-vinci-code-posterBased on the brilliant novel by Dan Brown, the film though not that epic but still a very effective conspiracy thriller to consider.

Directed by Ron Howard, a story that revolves around a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years.

The paintings of Da Vinci used as clues and various codes to be decoded – a mystery worth your time.

Another film by the same director based on the same writer’s novel Angels & Demons (2009).

A few other conspiracy films that can be taken into consideration are Three Days of the Condor (1975), Network (1976), Chinatown (1974), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Marathon Man (1976)Enemy of the State (1998), The Parallax View (1974), The China Syndrome (1979), Wag the Dog (1997), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), The Ghost Writer (2010), Silkwood (1983) and Conspiracy Theory (1997), Syriana (2005).

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.