Beneath the Mainstream : See "Calvary"
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Beneath the Mainstream : See “Calvary”

With Marvel’s new stunner Guardians of the Galaxy burning up the multiplexes, take note that there is another great film out there, in only a very select few theaters in the country. That would be John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary, a hypnotic beauty of a film, starring a never better Brendan Gleeson.

The story revolves around a good intentioned priest(Gleeson), who tends to the troubles of certain townspeople, in a small town in Ireland. One of the twist to this story is remarkably revealed in the hilarious first scene during a confession, when an unseen man threatens the priest that he will kill him by the next Sunday. On the beach at that. From that point, as the film breaks down each day until that Sunday, the priest continues his quest to help the townspeople, holding the mentality that there is good in everyone. That is, until the dark forces start to close in around him.

I won’t say anymore about the plot, just know that Brendan Gleeson’s performance will keep you pinned to your seat. To witness the nuances of Gleeson’s priest character face start out with warmth, to confusion, to rage, is a master class in the art of film acting. And the film’s tone, changing from a funny, seemingly harmless character study, into a sinister mystery, provides great, slow burn entertainment. I wouldn’t expect less, since John Michael McDonagh(The Guard) happens to be the brother of director Martin McDonagh(In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths), who can blend bloody brutality and laughs like nobodies business. Flawed mostly by some underwritten characters, John McDonagh’s script and direction proves he can do the same. And the shots of Ireland’s landscape, captured by cinematographer Larry Smith, is enough to make your jaw drop in awe. By the film’s shocking end, no way you won’t be knocked sideways.

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