Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Doubt


Staying true to its name, Doubt brings you the consequences of having one towards others.

Meryl Streep plays a conservative, head-strong nun and a principal to a Catholics school in which she suspected an indecent behavior between a priest (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) and the only black student in the school. However, she has no physical or verbal evidence to convict the priest but all she has is her doubt and strong personal belief to accuse the priest.

Nothing stops her in justifying her assumptions, not even after knowing how much the black boy look highly to the priest since only the latter takes a great care of him whenever he is teased and bullied in the all-white school.

Though she knows all of these – how miserable the boy is tortured by his father at home and how he finds solace in the priest at school, how his mother begs her not to prolong this case for the sake of his son’s future admittance to a good high school , she still stands by her unreasonable doubt and does everything and anything to remove the priest from the school and church.

Even if it means she has to lie.

She makes up stories about the priest. She lies how she had called his old churches to investigate about his past. She lied about seeing the priest persuading the boy from the principal’s room. She destroyed the only source of happiness available for the black boy. She did everything to prove his alleged wrongdoing.

She has reasons why she does it. She's suspicious, doubtful but she finds the whole loose, unseen connections in the story are somewhat convincing enough to prove her doubt.

Furthermore, she believes there is an injustice between the priest and the nuns, men and women, how the men always dominate and they, the women, do not have any choice but to oblige and be hush.

Is she wrong? Is it a valid move to accuse someone based on personal belief (not evidence) though it feels so right? Is it always true that ‘in the pursuit of God’s teaching, one step backward is the sacrifice you have to make’, like she what she says?

This movie features another stellar performance by Meryl Streep, in which she garnered her 15th Academy Awards nomination for Best Actress at this year’s event as well as great acting by Philip Seymour Hoffman (won Best Actor in 2006 for Capote) who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor while Amy Adams and Viola Davis were both nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

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