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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

CALVARY


By D.E.Levine

In County Sligo, a rural parish in Ireland, Father James (Brendon Gleeson), tends to the souls of the inhabitants.

Before being ordained, Father James was married, widowed and fathered a daughter.  He was also a heavy drinker.  When his daughter, Fiona (Kelly Reilly) comes to visit from London she has bandages on both wrists indicating a failed attempt at suicide.

In a pivotal scene we see Father James in a confessional, hearing confession from an unidentified man who states that because he was abused by Catholic clergy at a young age and has suffered irreparable damage, he intends to murder Father James in one week, on the following Sunday.  Although Father James was not the abuser and wasn't even a member of the clergy at the time, this confessor says he will murder Father James because he's done nothing wrong.

Father James is distressed by what the man has suffered, even more distressed than with the news of his impending murder.

Director John Michael McDonagh wrote the screenplay which is divided into seven days and introduces the viewer to locals who may or may not be involved in the impending murder.

While Father James seeks to minister to his "flock" the locals seem to have given up on the Catholic faith.  Father James believes and he is a solitary and lonely figure.  He can avoid his fate in several ways and even acquires a gun which viewers believe he will use to protect himself.

Cavalry leaves the viewer with a sadness and emptiness that perhaps mimics the feelings of Father James.