This movie is phenomenal and easily one of the best released this year. It features an ensemble cast starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery and Stanley Tucci. The ethics of journalism and central theme of the loss of innocence are explored in this raw and unfiltered look at the compelling true story. The film does not shy away from delving into delicate subject matter. There are many moments on the big screen that will leave the audience in silence and squirming in their seats. Watching the survivors tell their stories of abuse is uncomfortable but necessary to drive home the unpleasant truth. One of the victims says “It takes a village to abuse a child,” and the unfortunate reality is that his words ring true. Throughout the course of the film, it becomes clear that corrupt lawyers, naive parents and even well meaning journalists contribute to this deep-rooted problem. Children from a broken family develop a false sense of trust and look to confide in these priests who convince them that the acts of molestation are natural.
The systemic nature of the abuse scandals is also exposed and poses a dilemma for the journalists as they are forced to take their time getting the story right in order to successfully take down the entire system as opposed to individual priests. While the Boston Globe is to be commended for their final report, the film shines a light on the fact that journalism can and will get it wrong sometimes. Spotlight shows how a certain historical event pushes back the team’s ongoing investigative efforts due to fear of upsetting public sensitivity. The added possibility of the Boston Herald publishing a lackluster story that fails to hold all of the perpetrators accountable is another obstacle that creates the perfect storm that the Spotlight team is up against.
This is an important story that needs to be seen as a reminder that no institution should be able to get away with pure immorality. Spotlight is heartbreaking all the way through to the last frame. I would recommend the movie if you want to experience a powerful narrative that challenges the conventional wisdom of questioning self proclaimed authority. It is a must see for aspiring journalists as well as individuals who want to raise their awareness about the despicable yet cyclical injustices that happen in this world.