If you’ve been following the 2015 Awards race you’ve probably heard of Spotlight and might be interested in seeing it. That’s how I felt when I heard of Spotlight and it’s cast. I’ve always had iffy feelings about Tom McCarthy, most of the times his movies get good reviews but they always fail to captivate me. Funny enough, McCarthy also had released another movie this year which got atrocious reviews. Anyway I thought I’d give Spotlight a chance because it was garnering praise unlike any of his other films and I have to say I’m disappointed. It’s not an awful movie but it’s not the great movie it’s being made out to be.
Spotlight’s biggest merit is that it takes a very serious topic and spreads awareness on it. I wasn’t aware of how bad priest molestation cases were until I saw Spotlight. That’s feigns ignorance on my part but I’m glad Spotlight alerted to me how bad on the situation was. But Spotlight doesn’t accomplish anything more than a documentary could have. Spotlight benefits from great performances from its talented cast and it’s very detailed in its script about the cases but it’s also heavily lacking in story. The characters themselves feel underdeveloped (besides Mark Ruffalo & Michael Keaton) There’s a few character moments for the others but in the wide spectrum of the film, it’s very miniscule.
Spotlight suffers from terrible pacing, unremarkable directing and it feels like it’s withholding itself from being something more. It’s very mellow. It has the same problem the second half of Bridge of Spies did. We all know how it’ll end but there’s no journey towards the conclusion. All we’re getting is a scenes of a wikipedia summary on a bigger issue. We never see the big impact on the community and Tom McCarthy doesn’t do any favors to make the movie interesting. It suffers from lackluster cinematography, it has a really lame score and at parts I didn’t even feel like this film took place in Boston. McCarthy relies too much on the sensitive topic to entrap viewers but again why would anyone want to watch Spotlight for information only? It’s only cliff notes of a bigger issue. I rather watch a documentary that informs me more or do my own research. I kept finding myself comparing Spotlight to Zodiac which was far more captivating and better directed. Zodiac kept peaking your curiosity, Spotlight kind of does nothing.
I found Spotlight to be offensive a tad bit. Some of the movie felt like an attack on Catholicism and might eschew audience’s views on the religion. I”m not Catholic or Christian but I feel all religions deserve respect and Spotlight constantly makes it out to be that Catholicism & sex abuse are the same. It’s like they want you to be ashamed to be Catholic. At times Spotlight feels manipulative, it takes a very sensitive topic and tries to appeal to you but the makers of the movie rely on topic than building a foundation for a good movie. I’m glad Spotlight informed me about a huge problem going on but at the end, it’s not a movie I’d even want to revisit. Nothing is striking about the movie, it’s very bland and you’re better off watching a documentary or reading about the priest molestation cases in Boston. I’m happy that the victims finally got a movie that stood up for them but Spotlight is so lazy that it’s disrespectful. The creators of Spotlight should take notice from movies like The Big Short & Zodiac on how to captivate audiences but inform them at the same time.