Welcome Scribbler Fans! Feind took a break from horror once again and found another wonderful little indie that you should check out, if like me, you just like a well acted good story unfolding before your eyes. Cavalry was definitely that!
It might strike anyone who knows me or has read some of my drivel as odd that I decided to even give Cavalry a try as it’s about a Catholic priest. But this devote atheist was intrigued mere seconds in as the premise of Cavalry is revealed in the first 30 seconds or so. The film opens in a confessional booth (whatever they’re called, I don’t really care what they’re actually called to be honest) with Father James (Brendan Gleeson of Braveheart, Troy, Gangs of New York and "Mad Eye" Moody from Harry Potter) hearing a rather astounding confession. An anonymous man confesses to Father James that he was molested by a priest as a boy (yeah I know shocker, right?) but that the offending priest is dead already. At the end of the intriguing opening scene, the anonymous man tells Father James that he is going to kill him but not now, some time when he least expects it. He tells Father James that he is not going to kill him because he is a pedophile himself but because he feels it will be more interesting to kill an innocent priest. He tells Father James that he knows the priest is a good man but is going to kill him anyway for higher shock value.
What follows for the remainder of the movie is Father James trying to figure out who, in his small Irish hamlet, is going to try to kill him. There are some really good actors in this which leaves you pretty much no clue as to who the potential killer might be. I have a knack for generally figuring out the “who” in these kinds of movies in the first 10 minutes then just waiting for the story to get there but I have to say in Cavalry I was unsure until the end which I won’t give away. Yes, be shocked thar be no spoilers here today!
There were a ton of actors I recognized in this film, most notably Aiden Gillen, “Littlefinger” from Game of Thrones, who plays Dr Frank Harte with some let’s say… morality issues. Morality more than faith is one of the main themes of Cavalry which was much to my liking. Father James is a devote man of faith but is a realist and doesn’t constantly evangelize acting more as the small village’s moral compass though he himself is a recovered alcoholic. There’s the gay constable Inspector Stanton (Gary Lydon) with his very flamboyant and provocative boy toy Leo (Owen Sharpe). Then there’s the married couple, Veronica (Orla O'Rourke) & Jack Brennan (Chris O'Dowd), who have separated. Veronica is a troubled party girl while Jack is happy for the freedom of separation. Then there’s the black mechanic Simon (Isaach De Bankole) sleeping with and occasionally roughing up Veronica to the priest’s chagrin. Of course there’s the local bartender who like most bartenders knows more about people’s business than he wants to. Also there is the local rich tycoon Michael (Dylan Moran) who is apparently involved in some sort of illegal activity though knows nothing will come of it and doesn’t care. Then lastly there’s the priest’s daughter Fiona (Kelly Reilly), yup, our priest wasn’t always so priestly.
Usually in a film involving a “whodunit” mystery all you have to do is look for a good actor that has a small seemingly insignificant part near the beginning of the film but Cavalry is honestly overflowing with great character actors. That fact left me in the dark going from one to the next looking for subtle signs of guilt but because they’re all pretty good actors they all give subtle nuances that could make you believe they’re the one out to kill the priest. The dialogue of the film is superb so the writer (also the director McDonagh) is to be commended. I always gotta give a nod to that since I suck at writing dialogue (just my opinion). Cavalry is wonderfully directed and acted again really leaving you few clues as to who is out to kill the priest as it really could be anyone. I’m always happy when I can’t figure it out and in Cavalry I figured it out about the same time as our main character which made the ending far more enjoyable. Again no damn spoilers HAHAHA!
I would suggest you seek this film out if you like a well acted, well told story. Yes, it’s about a Catholic priest but it isn’t a movie that preaches to you and there is ample debate from several perspectives. If you figure out the “who” in Cavalry it is only by lucky guess. So again I stepped out of the horror realm and found some indie gold. Go find this movie and watch it, you won’t be disappointed! Cavalry is most definitely…
So if you can find this piece of Indie gold watch it and let us know what you think in the comments below.
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