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.
Though 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.
Until 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‘.
Written 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 Tucci, Neal Huff, John Slattery, Billy 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