Spotlight diverts from the conventional route in this serious, but enthralling crime drama.
Based on a true story, Boston Globe’s Spotlight team, consisting of Robby Robinson (Michael Keaton), Mike Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), and Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James), dig deep to solve the shocking scandal of child molestation allegations within the Catholic church in 2001, spanning as far back as the 1970’s.
Showcasing the importance of journalism during a tragedy, Spotlight capably deals with what most would consider a difficult subject matter. Not only are children victimized, the whole scandal is being covered up and it’s the Catholic church that’s behind it all. It’s truly difficult to pin down which part of the film is the most overwhelming – whether it’s due to being close to tears knowing the pain the victims have experienced, physically and mentally; or from simply being relieved that this ugly truth has been brought to light. And as the impact of the investigation continues to expand, the film soars into unforgettable territory, and will linger in your mind for a long time afterwards. The style of the film, which consists mostly of serious dialogue, is elegantly executed with stellar performances from Keaton, Tucci, Ruffalo, McAdams and Schreiber. Each journalist has a distinct personality of which you come to support, as well as a way in which they handle certain material, through their mannerisms, and their speech patterns. Spotlight is a slow-burner, but if this story was rushed over, it wouldn’t be half as effective as its brilliant outcome. Instead, it would have been pushed to one side and forgotten about amongst the long line of poorly executed crime dramas that had genuine potential.
With a documentary-feel to it, Spotlight doesn’t feel artificial in the slightest. A heart-breaking film, based on a true story. Director, Tom McCarthy, takes a more subtle approach with the direction. Forget flashy directorial choices, McCarthy lets the narrative unfold with a tension alone. A film which is certain to infuriate; a real eye-opener.