Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

The story follows the events after the death of Emily Rose, taking place during the prosecution of a priest who was accused of the girl's murder, with flashbacks of Emily during her stages of possible possession…I say possible because the film presents the story in two views at the same time.If the priest is correct and the girl was possessed by a demon, he is innocent. If the authorities called by the prosecution are correct, she died of psychotic epileptic disorder, and the priest created complications leading to her death. If, on the other hand, exorcism theory is correct, drugs given to the girl to treat her "disorder" made her immune to exorcism and led to her death.You can see everything from the faith point of view - or the science point of view. And you walk out of the film and you still don’t know which side to take…or you will. And that’s how you may be totally freaked out by this film, even if you’re not scared to death, you’ll be enthralled by the exciting courtroom drama that makes up most of the film.
The movie is told through flashbacks, where Father Moore (Tom Wilkinson) is on trial. He has been offered a deal (plead guilty to reckless endangerment and do six years of a 12-year sentence), but he refuses it: "I don't care about my reputation and I'm not afraid of jail. All I care about is telling Emily Rose's story." His lawyer Erin Bruner (Laura Linney) despairs, and yet admires him for his conviction. She herself does not believe in demons. The prosecutor, Ethan Thomas (Campbell Scott) is a churchgoer and does presumably believe, but lawyers sometimes argue against what they believe to be true. That's their job. Father Moore has authorization from the archdiocese, but after he is charged with murder the church authorities order him to accept plea bargaining and create as little scandal for the church as possible. The church is curiously ambivalent about exorcism. It believes that the devil and his agents can be active in the world, it has a rite of exorcism, and it has exorcists. On the other hand, it is reluctant to certify possessions and authorize exorcisms, and it avoids publicity on the issue. What is fascinating about "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is that it asks a secular institution, the court, to decide a question that hinges on matters the court cannot have an opinion on. Either Emily was possessed by a demon and Father Moore did his best to save her, or she had a psychotic condition and he unwittingly did his best to kill her. The defense and the prosecution mount strong arguments and call persuasive witnesses, but in the end it all comes down to the personal beliefs of the jury. A juror who does not believe in demons must find the priest guilty, if perhaps sincere. A juror who does believe in demons must decide if Emily Rose was possessed, or misdiagnosed.

Erin, the defendant, works for a powerful law firm retained by the archdiocese. She wants to be named a partner, but she won't be if she agrees with Father Moore's wish to appear on the witness stand; the archdiocese wants to make a deal leading to a quick settlement, with no testimony from the priest, and the archdiocese, not the priest, is the client who is paying. Which way does Erin turn? The film is fascinating in the way it makes legal and ethical issues seem as suspenseful as possession and exorcism.
This movie is a nearly perfect film- a film that I will remember for a very long time. It is a harrowing, shocking, terrifying, and terribly sad motion picture event that will make you question your own faith - and will definitely ask you to ask yourself some hard questions.

My verdict - 9 out of 10

BTW this story is based on the true story of Anneliese Michel, a young German woman who suffered the same fate as the fictional Emily Rose in the 1970s.


Blogger SHIRLEY said...

jus wondering la tis film contradictory to Christianity?

6:24 PM, November 12, 2005  
Blogger CWKen said...

em i'm not sure if it contradicts but it is sumting to do wif christianity ... anyway even if it contrdicts, y r u so afraid to watch it? u dun have to believe wat da movie says, u jus have to believe urself(alamak use tks skills from da show pulak lol) ... u can always treat it as an opinion and no harm will be done on ur own faith ... i believe if u understand christianity well, u wun be able to be influenced by anyone at all:)

10:17 PM, November 12, 2005  
Blogger CWKen said...

actually personally i think dis show it quite good but i cant explain y ... might be disturbing for certain ppl tho ... but personally i like dis kind of show which is somehow related to religion bcos i can gain knowledge about religions and issues related to the religion itself ... dis kind of show makes me think rationally about certain things and i can get to noe opinions about it from different point of view

10:29 PM, November 12, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its doesnt contradict Christianity, it just offers inspiration to christians and non-believers as well. If you dont want me to spoil the story for those who have yet to watch it, then dont read onward.
At the end, this incident supposedly was meant to instill into others the faith about the spiritual world because most people in the world rest their judgement and thinking purely on logic as well as science. So watch this movie and get inspired.. :)

10:30 PM, November 12, 2005  
Blogger @řũn said...

wow... so much thinking skills coming out :P

Actually I would say you don't have to go that deep spiritually into the story to enjoy it. Though it does make you ask yourself questions as hafriz said. The beauty of the story is that at the end you should (or should want to) admit to yourself that both possibilities exist. You don't have to make any conclusive decisions or change the way you think. I mean seriously.... is a movie a sufficient and necessary condition that is credible enough to merit the changing of one's internalised belief system??

LOL so much thinking skills!! hehe

Anyway I thought the courtroom drama was the most interesting part though ;)

3:42 AM, November 13, 2005  
Blogger CWKen said...

dis movie also teach us dat not everything is FACT bcos FACTS means dere is no room for possibilities and reasonable doubt ... not everything is based on FACTS and not everything is classified as FACTS ... so will dis movie change one's believe in their religion? is dis movie disturbing? dat i do not noe but it is STILL POSSIBLE dat it will change one's opinion and is also POSSINLY disturbing for certain people.

crap i'm influenced by the way they argue in dis movie d ... i was influenced ... hope my tks would be good lmao

2:48 PM, November 13, 2005  

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