Priest Movie Review
Priest is the story of Father Greg (Linus Roache), an idealistic young priest in Liverpool. The problem is that the young priest is gay, and he's torn between his hidden, inner desires and his faith in the church. Add to this his mentor, Father Matthew (Tom Wilkenson), an unconventional, karaoke-singing priest who is also breaking his vow of celibacy, and a teen-aged girl who confesses to Father Greg the incestuous abuse she experiences at the hands of her father. Greg is the victim of classic Catholic dilemmas: whether or not to break the seal of confession; whether or not to entertain his passion; whether or not to remain a member of the cloth.
The film is unrelenting in its prodding at the darker side of religion, showing in painful detail the hypocrisy of many of its tenets. It's enough to make you seriously question what you think you know, whether you're Catholic or not.
While Priest is a jaw-dropper overall, it is lacking on a number of levels that often make it frustrating. The erratic pace of plot development, stereotyping, and a substandard score make the film sometimes awkward and forced. Also, the characters seem to become close friends (or lovers) for no reason at all. Surprisingly, and to much relief, Priest involves a huge amount of comic relief, such as a funeral conga line, to break the omnipresent tension.
Be warned, Priest is a graphic and taboo-breaking film. It is a forceful blow to the centuries of Catholic history, and tells a story that is unique in every way. Be sure you know what you're getting in to if you go.