It’s not just the superlative performance from its lead actor Brendan Gleeson that sets the Irish film ‘Calvary’ apart, but the plenty of deliberations that it leaves in its wake on god and religion and a tiny village and its inhabitants that grapple with faith, or rather what is left of it.
Gleeson plays James, a fine priest with the noblest of intentions, who on a fine Sunday has an unknown parishioner in the confessional. The male voice claims to have been repeatedly abused by a priest during childhood, and threatens to kill James the coming Sunday, since “killing a good priest on a Sunday. That’ll be a good one..!”
Director John Michael McDonagh comes up with some brilliant writing in ‘Calvary’ that has a melancholic strain echoing through out. As the parish grows increasingly hostile towards the priest, he holds on, while his daughter Fiona (Kelly Reilly) finally comes to terms with the reason for his absence in her life that had almost led her to claim her own life.
There is the very last shot that would leave a lot of queries all around, and yet I would like to believe that a glimmer of hope is what is finally left behind. ‘Calvary’ is an intense film that connects with you on multiple levels, and at the end leaves you feeling tremendously fulfilled.
Verdict: Intense Drama