Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight (2016) Movie Review
Directed by Tom McCarthy, Written by Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy Music by Howard Shore, Cinematography by Masanobu, Takayanagi, Editing by Tom McArdle, and the Cast includes Micheal Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Stanley Tucci, Jamey Sheridan and Brian D’Arcy James.
Release: February 19th, Runtime: 129 Minutes & Censor Certificate: A.
Well Fuck me. Tom McCarthy the director of “The Cobbler” made this fantastic film.
Just try to wrap your mind around that. First.
This is the one I’ve been waiting for a long time! I haven’t been enjoying the Oscar nods as much as I hoped I would this year, but every time I’ve gone to the theatres I’ve gotten a little more excited to this investigative thriller Spotlight. I had to wait for so long in the India. And finally it’s released.
Spotlight is the retelling of true events of how the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team has uncovered the dreadful scandal of child torment within the Catholic Churches and the cover ups that came with it. It’s one of those films that covers real life story that I’m aware of, yet I know very footling about, which is what made Spotlight appealing to me.
If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse them – Mitchell Garabedian
Spotlight starts off introducing Marty Baron (Live Schreiber), the new boss of the globe team. Baron is a man from another place, so he has his technique and brings something new to the Boston Globe. His arrival shows that we going to see something out of the box. The Spotlight team includes; Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel Mc Adams), Mike Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Matt Carroll (Brian Darcy James) and Walter Robinson (Micheal Keaton). They all have their own characteristics and they have different reactions to the development of this investigation. Spotlight isn’t about romantic journalism, it’s about the methodical obliteration of all the assumptions holding together an institution by journalistic goading at fact.
I’m writing this the day after watching Spotlight, and I honestly don’t know where to start. Hmmm… let me start by comparing it with Fincher’s Zodiac (one of my favourite films), now of course they both cover completely different subject matters but it’s the way they present them that is quite similar. They both take their time and allow the plotline to be told in its own way. This brings solid depth to the storyline, and Spotlight allows the viewers to follow it and understand it without the need for flashy direction. Now this isn’t always great method to narrate a film as it makes a film slow and damp, so it is all the more worthy of praise when a director manages to successfully pull it off. With this method of story telling the major strength of the movie lies with the cast and this cast is probably the best ensemble cast of the year and further proves the need for the best ensemble cast award at Oscars. Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo (Liked him in “The Normal Heart” too) do excel, but on certain places. The cast all work together and all aren’t trying to upstage on another here. Live Schrieber, Stanley Tucci, Jamey Sheridan, Mark Keaton and Brian James deserve a special mention as their characterizations are so understated and brilliantly portrayed. I wasn’t fully aware of the story and although you know the outcome by the interval tension still works as these characters are so believable. The film has some truly gripping moments when Ruffalo makes his big “it’s time” speech, Tucci continuing fight for his clients; the way Saviano reveals the facts to Spotlight team; Joe Crowley specifics regarding molestation; the teams shocking reaction to SIPE details; Jim Sullivan’s confirmation sequence..etc. This story doesn’t need to be manipulated as it works well with the way it does. The tension builds throughout the film to a truly satisfying conclusion.
“How to say No to the God”? – Saviano
Behind my veneration however, lay an unsettling feeling of sorts. It’s so tough to listen to the stories of the subsisters and victims of abuse. It’s one thing to read about it, but to hear someone say it out loud makes viewer feel queasy. There is sequence where Rachel McAdams talks with survivor as they walk by the church, with children playing right infront of it. That’s an image that might take a while to get over. It could have been so easy to make a film that vituperates religion and besmirches the role of Catholic Church, but Spotlight is aware on the effect this kind of story has on the people of faith to fall into that trap. Their targets are nothing more than the suspects. The film sits alongside our modern day media-commentators and makes us scratch our heads. The spotlight team is not politically motivated, and as Baron says, “Journalism works best when it operates alone.” With loads of factors influencing the narrative in 2016, Spotlight can be used as a mirror to print media that journalism has a duty to report on what is happening, and is not a mouthpiece nor it should turn a blind eye.
Is it an instant classic? Of course not. Yet a very well made and shows the true art of investigative journalism (which is sadly becoming a lost art these days). Every aspect of Spotlight suits the subject material perfectly, creating a film that exposes grievous crimes and the terrible systemic failures that hid them for so long, without losing the sight of the newsmen who broke the silence. In simple words, Spotlight is All the President’s Men (1976) for our times.
Will it win The Best Picture?
The battle for The Best Picture seems to have become a two horse race: The Revenant Vs Spotlight. Two films of undeniable quality, but that could barely be more different in style and subject, united by a tone of utter seriousness. My bet would be on The Revenant, but my hearts cheering Spotlight.
Survi Review: 3.5/5 (0.25 more the solid cinematography and BGM)