Saturday, February 20, 2016


Investigative Journalism At Its Best

4 stars

Mini Review:

When a newspaper unearths a scandal that could shake up core beliefs, they don't sweep it under the carpet for fear of reprisal from Head Office or loss of advertising. They follow it through and create a shakedown that extends across the country and the rest of the world. The best film about journalists after All The Presidents Men

Main Review:

'How can you say no to God?' asks a victim. The journalist is gobsmacked as are we. Spotlight - the investigative team from The Boston Globe - has stumbled upon a secret that will shake up not only the largely Catholic city but would raise questions on the conduct of an institution that ought to be above and beyond reproach.

Priest who abuse are not an unknown to India. We tend to put God above country as well. Priests have been cast as villains in so many Bollywood movies that a storyline like Spotlight seemed to be... Umm... Nothing new. But when you begin watching, you realise that this is more powerful than you first thought. It is a superb ensemble cast that works a miracle. 

The new editor is Jewish. Did no one say anything about religious agendas then? Imagine Spotlight in India with a Sikh/Muslim/Christian editor? Imagine dharnas and effigy burning and chaos...

The Archbishop presents the editor with a book of Catechism... And you think, 'Niiiiiiiice!'

The victims are either too young to understand or they have grown up to be mal-adjusted adults.

'How can you say no to God?' the plaintive question takes on new meaning with every door that is slammed on the journalists seeking an answer. 

The movie reminds one of the stunning El Club, a Chilean film about disgraced priests who live quiet lives in a seaside town when their lives are disrupted by a disturbed individual who claims he was abused by one of the residents.

In Spotlight, we see how systematically the journalists find out how the Archdiocese is involved. 

When it comes to faith, it's a tough call to take. And even though the team begins the investigation on a logical note, the journalists discover how close they are to the crimes. A house in the neighborhood, an old high school friend... And the pressure on them to stop pursuing the matter is relentless. It comes from all sides. 

You realise that your fingers have been crossed and that you feel as defeated as the team is when things don't work... This has not happened for a long, long time. You almost cheer when Mark Ruffalo hands eighty-seven dollars to the man at the records office and says, 'Use your machine!'

I'm rambling. But Spotlight doesn't. The screenplay is flawless and we watch the events unfold minute after exciting minute, knowing the feeling when Micheal Keaton and Mark Ruffalo are unable to stay away from the newspaper office in the end, even though it's a Sunday and they really deserve the break..

When the phones begin to ring at the Spotlight office, you gasp a little. You realise that you have been holding your breath. You step out shocked and exhilarated, glad that a team such as Spotlight exists.   


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