Saturday, April 18, 2009

DOUBT

Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Viola Davis


"There is no evidence. There are no witnesses.
But for one, there is no doubt."



The simple manner that "Doubt" was presented doesn't belittle the fact that it deals with thought provoking topics. It touches on religion, morality, suspicion, guilt and what else but the touchy subject of "doubt". A powerful emotion that casts uncertainty, mistrust, disbelief and suspicion over the existence of something that is true.

In this film, the setting is in a Catholic school run by nuns. The uncertainty stems from a novice teacher/nun, Sister James (Amy Adams) who suspects that Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is exhibiting inappropriate behavior towards a young black student. She allays her 'fears' to Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep), the stern principal of the school who in turn would stop at nothing to expose the truth however vindictive it seems.

The confrontational scene where the three characters talk to each other about the misdemeanor in the small office of the principal is the main highlight of the film. It is well paced with nary a hysterical moment even though a shouting match occurs. The acting performances (not only in this specific scene but during the entire movie) from Streep, Seymour and even Amy Adams (in a serious role) was superb with close up shots of the character's facial expressions conveying a multitude of emotions.

Through out the entire movie, you feel anxious and a bit edgy. There is an immediate sense to find out the truth - whether Father Flynn is indeed guilty or not guilty of the accusations thrown at him. It helps that the main actors are talented and play sympathetic characters. You fully invest yourself in their characters welfare. Yet it gets to a certain point where you end up not really caring about his guilt and simply focus on the method the accusers use to prove their point.

In the end, the movie concludes in the same manner as it started with doubts still prevail in every sense of the word! Yet at the same time, it merely proves that when one is in doubt, there is no doubt (that there is something circumspect about the whole deal). Amen!

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