Spotlight – A Gripping Drama
Honestly, the film has left so much of a mark on me, that I had to sit and write about it. And, I am not talking about the captivating story of the film – the fact that its based on true events and that there are people who have actually pulled up this dramatic task. Of course all these are worth the applaud. But if we look at it from the perspective of a film lover – the way this investigative drama was handled on screen is a treat! And sure serves a great comeback from Tom McCarthy after The Cobbler.
The film is an investigative drama about a team of journalists who set upon to reveal the story of priests with a history of child abuse. And the bigger story of how the Catholic Church covered up these acts for over decades. But there are no dramatic car chases, or bullets or anything close to glamour in the film. Not even the cliques of showing innocent children faces. (except for one small scene) Instead its just grey. Nothing dramatic. Yet such a powerful thriller that once the film starts you are hooked on to your seat till it ends. Literally. Its such a satisfying treat for those who love the art of film that it will leave you sated.
The most strong points are in its Acting and Editing.
The cast has done a wonderful job of being in the character. The team of Spotlight is lead by Robby (Michael Keaton). The team includes Sacha (Rachel McAdams), Matt (Brian d’Arcy James) and Mike (Mark Ruffalo). The non-glam attire and the deep characterisation easily engages us in the film and the distance between us the viewers and on screen characters played by someone else is completely vanished. This instantly make us involved in the film and care for these people. The credit of this should also go to Masanobu Takayanagi for the cinematography. The camera is detail orientated, locks in on the characters fidgeting or on their deep expressions. The actors in other supporting characters have also done a great job. Stanley Tucci as Mitchell Garabedian (an attorney who is a “character” as mentioned by Sacha; in his way trying to the noble deed of helping the victims in these trials) is wonderful delight to watch on screen. This is one character that adds a needed contrast in the film.
The editing is certainly most tricky part of this film. In one sense its a linear and grey portrayal. But, it moves so fast that we are always on the edge of our seat while watching it. Not for a second does it run loose or slow. There are fast cuts which generate that sense of urgency. Small details like when a lot of paperwork is shown small cuts of the characters walking fast are shown in between. Which have the desired effect of adding pace to the film.
Nowhere does the film try to make any statement of any kind which I think is perfect! This is similar to what journalism is about. Just to show the truth as accurate as possible. It does not try to make anyone hero or a villain and is a just portrayal of a fact based story.
It really is one of the best films in the recent times. Don’t miss it!