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Spotlight - Film Review

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by Diana (subscribe)
Microbiologist-turned-homemaker, she is a foodie with a flair for cooking. An avid traveller and voracious reader, she also loves to paint and indulges in photography.
Published January 27th 2016
Pen is Truly Mightier than Sword
It's difficult to unearth facts from within controversies surrounding the very epitome of faith - the Catholic Church. Who does one run to and confess when the protector becomes the feared?

Writer and director Tom McCarthy does complete justice in bringing to life on silver screen the story of the mighty Spotlight team that chased and uncovered the abominable involvement of clergymen of the Boston Catholic Archdiocese in child sexual abuse. The movie is so well paced and involves such naturalism that the 128 minutes of running time simply flies away.

The perfect combination of Liev Schreiber as Editor of The Boston Globe Marty Baron, Michael Keaton as Team Lead Walter 'Robby' Robinson, Mark Ruffalo as investigative reporter & political writer Michael Rezendes and Rachel McAdams as investigative journalist Sacha Pfeiffer, lends further credibility to the plot based on the scandalous discoveries that won the newspaper the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

Spotlight
Spotlight Poster (copyright of Open Road Films)


Spotlight, Movie Review, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber
The central cast of Spotlight - Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery & Brian d'Arcy James (copyright of Open Road Films)


Baron is the newly appointed editor of The Boston Globe. He soon takes interest in a published article on a pedophilic priest John Geoghan and the involvement of Cardinal Bernard Francis Law in covering it, and prompts the Spotlight team to further investigate the matter. In the wake of pursuing the Geoghan case, the team starts stumbling upon various other cases of abuse completely veiled by the Archdiocese.

Through vital evidences from the head of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) and other abused individuals, the journalists start connecting the dots. Their finds lead them to the names of eighty-seven clergymen who are moved from one place to another by the Archdiocese, covering any trace of the loathsome physical violations they commit.

But then, unfortunately, the September 11 disaster happens, taking priority over all the other news and the child abuse case is sidelined. The anxious victims run out of patience when they find that publication of the report is delayed all over again, like the previous instance when Robinson failed to pursue a report incriminating twenty pedophile padres of child abuse.

Spotlight
Still from Spotlight (copyright of Open Road Films)


Spotlight
Still from Spotlight (copyright of Open Road Films)


Spotlight
Still from Spotlight (copyright of Open Road Films)


Spotlight
Still from Spotlight (copyright of Open Road Films)


Finally, Rezendes, through persistent efforts, learns that records are available to the public denoting the Cardinal's prior knowledge of each instance of rape and molestation. Access to these files hastens the publication of the report.

Spotlight
Still from Spotlight (copyright of Open Road Films)


Spotlight
Still from Spotlight (copyright of Open Road Films)


Chasing stories like these and bringing them to public notice requires valour and getting it enacted by a bunch of talented actors without overpowering the plot requires directorial acumen. Hats off to Tom McCarthy and all the actors involved in making Spotlight one of the top rated movies of 2015 and one of the best movies based on journalism.

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