A darkness hangs over Calvary; as bleak and angry as a pregnant thundercloud. Those hoping for a thematic sequel to The Guard will quickly discover that they won’t find it here.
Calvary isn’t perfect; the whisking of gloom and gallows humour that made John Michael McDonagh’s sophomore film such a gem mostly curdles this time around – perhaps due to its bulkier existential weight.
But this does not diminish the confidence with which it asks its questions – least of which turns out to be the spinal whodunnit – nor takes away from another superb performance from Brendan Gleeson.
Calvary manages to prevail.
There are some hangover problems from The Guard; chiefly, the supporting ensemble tend to be placeholders rather than proper, rounded characters. However, for the most part, John Michael McDonagh and Brendan Gleeson have succeeded in producing a profound film that looks at faith and its place in modern day society.
CAST: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aiden Gillen, Dylan Moran, Domhnall Gleeson, M. Emmet Walsh, Killan Scott
DIRECTOR: John Michael McDonagh
WRITERS: John Michael McDonagh
SYNOPSIS: After he is threatened during a confession, a good-natured priest must battle the dark forces closing in around him.