If you are looking for a heart-warming tale with sweet love story and a happy ending, I’m afraid you needn’t read this review any further. I first came across Calvary during my perusing through the weekly email I receive from Dendy Cinemas, and in all honesty, it didn’t seem very interesting at all. However, after I saw the trailer for it (it was forced upon me during a Youtube advertisement) I was far more intrigued.
The film follows Father James Lavelle (Brendan Gleeson), a good natured and well-loved priest in a small rural Irish town, after he is threatened with his murder during confessional. He is told that he has until the following Sunday to get his affairs in order before he finally commits the act.
The film tackles some fairly heavy issues, particularly the history of covering up incidents of sexual assault from within the clergy. We are also hit with an overarching theme of death and suicide throughout the story, with many characters facing some grave issues with which Father James attempts to help. As grim as that sounds, though, it has a certain class and sense to it that forces you to see the small town in the eyes of the Father. If there’s nothing I love in a film more, it’s one that makes you feel. Despite all this seemingly doom and gloom, there is a comedic element to it all. Truth be told, the whole this is quite funny – not in an obvious slap stick way, but rather a sophisticated European way.
The good pacing, excellent acting and direction is helped with a rather stellar cast – along with Gleeson, there are the likes of Chris O’Dowd, Dylan Moran and even Aiden Gillan (of Game of Thrones fame). In a year where there really has been very little to jump around about at the cinema, Calvary is surely a masterpiece.