Doubt PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Hisham Qaddoumi   
Monday, 20 April 2009 01:22

DoubtA Personal View

Who amongst us does not have doubts? Doubts in life, doubts in work, doubts in his whole living path even doubts in faith. Who amongst us does not have secrets? Secrets we do not want anyone to know because they do not have the right to ask in the first place.

As much as the movie wears the religious type, it is still too deeply human. The storytelling is really into everybody’s feelings, fears and inner thoughts. I felt sorry for every character in the movie; Sister Aloysius, Father Brendan Flynn, Sister James and truly Mrs. Miller. Each one of these characters seemed to have a lot behind the face they show to the world. The performance of Philip Seymour Hoffman was extraordinary as usual, and there is no “Doubt” that the same could be least said about Meryl Streep.

The Story

The young and modern minded father “Brendan Flynn” seems to be suspicious to Sister Aloysius. He is more fun than a father should be, smokes cigarettes, pops jokes with everybody and uses a “ball pen”. Sister Aloysius watches him carefully; the story rises up in tense when she starts to doubt his relationship with a young black student “Donald Miller”. What does he want from him exactly?

Sister Aloysius cannot question him directly as he is her superior, so she digs behind him. It all starts when Sister James discovers that Miller came back one day from a private meeting with Father Flynn with a smell of alcohols in his breath. This leads to a fight when Sister Aloysius decides to face Father Flynn personally. A fight. Then an investigation with the heartbroken mother “Mrs. Miller, who is much in trouble than her son, and then another fight. This time she asks Father Flynn to leave though she has no authority to do so. Father Flynn burst into anger and fights back.

The Complex

Too many complexes in the movie all revolves around one basic human weakness “Doubt”. But doubt can be strong and demolishing as well. Sister Aloysius doubts Father Flynn, Flynn who doubts that the old methods Sister Aloysius should continue as he believes in modernizing the way we represent religion, Sister James doubts herself, whom to believe and what to do next. And the final doubt which will shock you by the end of the movie.

A very basic complex originated from our very basic human nature, turns into a devastating fight. Who will win? Who will break? Is it a real break or just a truce? You have to find that by yourself, I am pretty sure everyone sees this movie will imprint his own feelings on the movie’s emotions and find a different answer for his / her own “Doubt”.

The Ending

The ending will shock you in many different was as it will also knock your head to truth. We are all humans after all, but when we actually cross the line out of our truth to manifest another version of us that does not want to be human. That refuses to form the question marks. That denies the very basic foundations we are made of: Love, compassion, hatred and cruelty.

If you still believe you can expect the ending by reading this, I suggest you change your mind and watch the movie. It is not about expectations, or being right or wrong guessing what. It is about facing yourself in the mirror of this movie’s ending before you leave the screen thinking: “Thank God that I have no doubts!”.

The Making

From stage to screen; there is a lot to be seen. The making itself is no fancy, though the people look really like living in the 60s. The most you would like about the making is the directing and the casting. The director did a great job directing this movie and a greater job choosing this marvelous cast.

What I most liked about the movie is the accuracy. Most directors would feel really scared to do movies about the 60s era. Our parents lived in that time; we still enjoy watching movies made in that era so it is still in our unconscious mind. We will be judging anything, no matter how small it is, if we felt is misplaced but here we simply cannot. Everyone is on track, everything is in place. Brilliant making! That is the least that I can say about it.

Movie Info

Director: John Patrick Shanley
Writers: John Patrick Shanley
Release Date: 25 December 2008 (USA)
Genre: Drama | Mystery
Awards: Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 32 nominations
Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material.
Runtime: 104 min
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1
Sound Mix: SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS
Filming Locations: College of Mount Saint Vincent, Riverdale, Bronx, New York City, New York, USA
Company: Goodspeed Productions
More on IMDb

DVD Info

Actors: Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DVD, NTSC, Widescreen
Language: Unknown (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 1
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Miramax
DVD Release Date: April 7, 2009
Run Time: 104 minutes
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Last Updated on Saturday, 11 July 2009 21:42

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