Spotlight | Teen Ink

Spotlight MAG

March 6, 2016
By emi_is_fab SILVER, Cambridge, Massachusetts
emi_is_fab SILVER, Cambridge, Massachusetts
8 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Although awkward at times because of its mature content, “Spotlight” is a powerful and moving film that challenges the law and reveals the power of the Catholic church. The film does not overdramatize a sensitive situation like so many movies do. “Spotlight” rips off the band aid on an issue that has been covered up for centuries – child sex abuse by priests. The captivating passion of the actors, beautiful and eerie soundtrack, as well as the advanced editing techniques make this film truly remarkable.

The story is about the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation that would cause a crisis in one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions, the Catholic church. When the newspaper’s special ops team of reporters – known as Spotlight – look into allegations of child sex abuse by Catholic priests, their year-long investigation uncovers efforts by the church to hush up and cover up decades of this awful activity.

“Spotlight” shines light on a sensitive subject that can be hard to watch unfold, especially if the viewer is Catholic. However, this film’s eloquent approach gives the audience a chance to learn alongside the reporters, allowing them to share in the disgust and frustration of the subject matter. The film’s humble approach does not embellish The Boston Globe’s part in the story, as one might expect. Instead, it focuses on telling the hard truth rather than creating overdramatized heroes and villains.

Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, and Stanley Tucci are cast perfectly and contribute to the mood of the story with their passionate performances. Set in the late ’90s, early 2000s, in Boston, the film reflects the city and its culture with stunning accuracy. “Spotlight” opens with police officers speaking with convincing Boston accents, and throughout the film thoroughly captures the city’s culture. One notable performance was Ruffalo’s passionate monologue near the end. His acting was breathtaking. Breaking this scandal affected each reporter differently, and the film did an outstanding job following their journeys and staying true to the reporting that was essential to the story line. In addition, the victims play an important role in the power of the film. Those who had the courage to be interviewed create empathy for all those abused. The struggle to talk about what happened with each victim is captured delicately. The visible pain each victim reveals in telling their story to the reporters makes the film that much more real and riveting.

The music is a beautiful addition to this dense story. The soundtrack sweeps the audience in and allows us to immediately be captivated. Music is used sparingly, which makes it that much more powerful. Light piano helps the film progress, as it is used in key transitions in and out of emotionally gripping scenes.

The editing of the film is perhaps the most important aspect to note. The establishing shots of the city are especially useful in connecting the audience to the story. I also appreciated the careful camera angles of close ups throughout the film. Another notable aspect of the camera work is the blurring effect that slowly fades into a clear picture, which is used several times during scenes with young children to enhance the uncomfortable and confused feelings they must have felt. Additionally, the audio is unbelievable. Every sound is enhanced: the rustling of pants as men walk, the clicking of a pen, a computer keyboard, background chatter at a restaurant, and a chair being pulled out. These details keep the audience at the edge of their seats.

“Spotlight” is a film of great importance to the world. This is everyone’s story, in a way. The story of being uncomfortable with who you are, the struggle to speak up, and the corruption that comes when people are given too much power. This film is a must see.

The author's comments:

Spotlight is an amazing story that the world needs to hear. 

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This article has 1 comment.

HammadWaseem said...
on Apr. 14 2016 at 3:12 pm
HammadWaseem, Lahore, Other
0 articles 5 photos 283 comments

Favorite Quote:
Be proud of who you are.

You can't see me
-John Cena

Ooh, somebody stop me!

Totally awesome! :)