Calvary: A surprise in the end and the beginning.


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Calvary is a film that shocks in both its opening and its ending.

A priest (Brendan Gleeson) is told by a visitor to his confessional booth of the horrific abuse inflicted by a priest. The priest is then also told that he will be killed, not because he is guilty, he will be killed because the greatest shock is in killing someone who is innocent.

What transpires is a darkly comic trip through not so much a who dunnit but a which one will it be.

Timing is everything and a release at Easter is far too coincidental for me not to be drawn to this films Holy week allegorical leanings.

A village full of extreme and in some ways biblical characters, an inn keeper, a rich young ruler (a banker), church leaders more concerned with rules than what is happening on the ground, murderers. 

A village full of characters who begin the week quite jovially with the priest but as time progresses turn on him with more frequency and ferocity.

It has an air of familiarity.

The ending however did something incredible. Something I had not experienced in a while. At the films climatic end there was an audible gasp as a story that many thought would go one way, pulled the rug from under us all, and took us another direction entirely.

Again an air of familiarity.

Easter is approaching and instead of being at church on Easter Sunday I will be camping with my family. Away from social media, away from blog posts, away from a cinema, away from noise (to a degree). To be honest I haven’t felt bad about that. How many times have I travelled the Easter journey through church, how many times have I sung those same songs.

An air of  over familiarity.

This week I was reading Brain McLaren’s ‘A New Kind Of Christianity’ which I would definitely recommend.

In it he said ‘the tomb becomes the womb giving birth to a new creation’.

Before I could stop myself I felt the eyes of those around me staring. I realised I had taken a sharp intake of breath.

To my shock and awe I was reminded of something I had neglected.

Shock endings and perhaps more importantly shocking beginnings aren’t just restricted to films carrying the name of Calvary.  

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