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Doubt - Movie Review Example

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Doubt (2008), a gripping film adaptation of John Patrick Shanley's stage play Doubt: A Parable, deals with the story of a priest accused of having a reprehensible relationship with a Catholic school student. Written and directed by Shanley, the film stars Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis and their performance was highly appreciated at the international level…
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Download file to see previous pages... The film is set in 1964 at St. Nicholas school, a Roman Catholic School in the Bronx, New York and most of its students are children of Italian and Irish immigrants. They would have great faith in their Church and would never question or doubt anything about mother Church. In the movie, Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a young priest, delivers an important sermon on flagging faith which creates suspicions in Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep). In his sermon, Father Flynn concentrated on the nature of doubt and noted that doubt, like faith, can be a unifying energy. Sister Aloysius, the strict principal of the school discusses the sermon with her fellow nuns and asks them to find the reasons behind the behaviour of Father Flynn for preaching about doubt. Following this, Sister James (Amy Adams), a young and naive teacher, grudgingly reports a private meeting between Father Flynn and the school's only black student to Sister Aloysius which creates awful suspicion in the principal. Therefore, one of the central scenes in the movie is the one in which the cheerful, fair-haired Father Flynn preaches a sermon about sharing doubts with others in the community. Father Flynn's appeal to the importance of doubt becomes relevant in the context of the Roman Catholic School in the Bronx, where most of the students are children of Italian and Irish immigrants who would have great faith in their Church and never question or doubt anything about mother Church. However, in a reflective analysis of the theme of doubt in the film, it becomes lucid that the students' trust to the church is because of their nave faith and some doubt in faith would have been preferable, as such doubt of mother Church was possible back in 1964.
Through the story of a confrontation between the priest and the nun at a Catholic school in 1964 New York, the film Doubt by John Patrick Shanley establishes the importance of doubt in deepening the nave faith in Catholic Church. Father Flynn, who is the chaplain at St. Nicholas Catholic school in the Bronx in 1964, is a strong believer in the winds of change that are sweeping through the country with integration and through the Catholic Church with Pope John XXIII. Through the character of Father Flynn, the film emphasizes the positive value of doubt in the life of a believer of the Catholic Church, and the winds of change that were sweeping through the Church in 1964 suggests the possibility of a doubt of the mother Church. "He has an easy and relaxed manner with the kids; as a preacher, he enjoys shaking his congregation up. In the opening scene of the film, he speaks about the positive value of doubt in the life of a believer: 'Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty. When you are lost, you are not alone.'" (Brussat and Brussat, 2009). Therefore, the character of Father Flynn makes a vital point by suggesting the positive value of doubt in the life of a believer and the winds of change that were sweeping through the Church suggested by Father Flynn allude to the possibility of a doubt of the mother Church in 1964. The students at St. Nicholas Catholic School, who are children of Italian and Irish immigrants, have great faith in their Church and would never question or doubt anything about mother Church. In fact, their trust in the Church is too nave and there is great positive value of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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