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Times of India
A group of investigative journalists working at the Boston Globe in its Spotlight team uncover a massive scandal involving the Roman Catholic Church and some of its priests who sexually molested children. The journalists have got the scent of blood and are eager to bring the story to public knowledge. However, uncovering such a controversial story does have its consequences.
Walter Robinson (Keaton), Sarah Pfeiffer (McAdams), Mike Rezendes (Ruffalo) and Matt Carroll (D'Arcy) together conduct their journalistic work in complete secrecy, owing to the kind of stories they work on. And given the span of research involved, they can take months on a case.
The Globe receives a new editor Marty Baron (Schrieber), who reminds Spotlight editor Robinson about a case where in the early 70s, a priest named John Geoghan sexually molested children. And Cardinal Bernard Law (the Archbishop emeritus of Boston) turned a blind eye towards it at that time. Could Robinson and team get on the case and uncover the larger scandal? As no doubt, Geoghan is just the tip of the iceberg.
The Spotlight team speaks to victims, lawyers from both sides and priests. In time, the legwork pays off. Ruffalo is terrific as the dedicated reporter. Pfeiffer is the empathetic one while Robinson and Slattery bring a certain gravitas to the film. Stanley Tucci's lawyer character is also noteworthy.
Spotlight is pretty heavy on dialogue, completely essential though, as the movie is a no-nonsense retelling of a very serious subject and painstaking effort has gone into getting the details right. But to McCarthy's credit, never does he steer his principal cast into soppy, heroic or self-righteous territory. It's as matter-of-fact as it comes. The investigation is meticulously deconstructed with not a wasted second. Kudos to Josh Singer and McCarthy, who also co-scripted the film.
The real life investigation conducted by the team of Spotlight journalists won them a Pulitzer Prize. In case you do watch this movie - and it is highly recommended that you do - it'll be easy to see why they won that honour. Bold, audacious and shocking, a consummate piece of work.
Before meeting the real Walter Robinson, Michael Keaton (who plays Walter in the film) did a thorough research into his character and did an impersonation of Walter on their first meeting. Robinson was scared to death wondering how Michael knew so much about him already.
While finding out information about Walter, Micheal realized that he actually lived very close to Robinson’s house.
Mark Ruffalo, who plays Michael Rezendes in the film, made the real Michael say all his lines between breaks in order to reprise the character appropriately.
At the time of the film’s release, Michael Rezendes was the only journalist still part of the Spotlight team.
In 2013, the film’s scrip appeared in the popular ‘Black list,’ a list of really good, but unmade films.
The font used in the credits and name cards is Miller, which was the typeface the Boston Globe used in its publication.
This is Keaton’s second film where his character is part of the newspaper industry; the first was ‘The Paper’ in 1994.
Marget Robbie was originally cast to play Sacha Pfeiffer, but she turned it down due to exhaustion. Before Rachel McAdams was finally cast, Amy Adams and Michelle Williams were in talks for the same.
In 2001, The Boston Globe hires a new editor, Marty Baron. Baron meets Walter "Robby" Robinson, the editor of the Spotlight team, a small group of journalists writing investigative articles that take months to research and publish. After Baron reads a Globe column about a lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, who says that Cardinal Law (the Archbishop of Boston) knew that the priest John Geoghan was sexually abusing children and did nothing to stop him, he urges the Spotlight team to investigate. Journalist Michael Rezendes contacts Garabedian, who initially declines interview. Though he is told not to, Rezendes reveals that he is on the Spotlight team, persuading Garabedian to talk.
Initially believing that they are following the story of one priest who was moved around several times, the Spotlight team begin to uncover a pattern of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests in Massachusetts, and an ongoing cover-up by the Boston Archdiocese. Through a man who heads a victim's rights organization, they widen their search to thirteen priests. They learn through an ex-priest who worked trying to rehabilitate pedophile priests that there should be approximately ninety abusive priests in Boston. Through their research, they develop a list of eighty-seven names, and begin to find their victims to back up their suspicions. When the September 11 attacks occur, the team is forced to deprioritize the story. They regain momentum when Rezendes learns from Garabedian that there are publicly available documents that confirm Cardinal Law was aware of the problem and ignored it. After The Boston Globe wins a case to have even more legal documents unsealed, the Spotlight Team finally begins to write the story, and plan to publish their findings in early 2002.
As they are about to go to print, Robinson confesses to the team that he was sent a list of twenty pedophile priests in 1993 in a story he never followed up on. Baron, nevertheless, tells Robinson and the team that the work they are doing is important. The story goes to print with a link leading to the documents that expose Cardinal Law, and a phone number requesting victims of pedophile priests to come forward. The following morning, the Spotlight team is inundated with phone calls from victims coming forward to tell their stories. The film closes with a list of places in the United States and around the world where the Catholic Church has been involved in concealing abuse by priests.
Director Tom McCarthy's Oscar nominated 'Spotlight' has hit the screens and the film is receiving rave reviews from audience and critics alike. Here's what the Twitteraties had to say about the film.
#Spotlight is fantastic. A story that has been covered up for years and encourages those to speak up and not stay silent anymore. Watch it!
It''s these survivors who give Spotlight its beating heart. Roiling emotions are also felt among reporters who desperately want to get the story right and just as desperately want to get it first. That tension makes for an insanely gripping high-wire act and the year''s most thrilling detective story. These reporters are jittery obsessives who put their lives on hold for a story they believe in. Do they get off on it? You bet. They''re hardcore guardians of an endangered galaxy. And heroes, in my book. At times, it''s hard not to choke up, but Spotlight refuses to wallow in nostalgia. This landmark film takes a clear-eyed look at the digital future and honors the one constant that journalism needs to stay alive and relevant: a fighting spirit.
As Carroll, the excellent James digs into sealed records of priests whose crimes are swept aside. Political, social and legal systems are found complicit, including plaintiffs'' lawyer Eric MacLeish (Billy Crudup) and Cardinal Bernard Law (Len Cariou). McAdams, sharp and sympathetic, shows us how Pfeiffer draws out details from victims whose childhoods meant sacking the dck of a priest who says he''s had a bad day. And Ruffalo is a marvel of purpose as Rezendes hounds attorney Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci) for access to survivors of sex abuse.
Wow, 4 stars for this angrezy ghatia movie and 3.5 for greatest movie of the year, Sarbjit?