Movie Review The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Demons exist whether you believe in them or not.-Father Moore, The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Though it is hard to believe, only people who have experienced it can say yes to it. The movie is based on similar story, in a courtroom drama where one side (prosecution) is about rationalism and says that science can answer every question, and on the other hand (defender) is the father Moore defending his side by saying that, there are many mysteries of God that go far beyond science.
The co-writer (with Paul Harris Boardman) and director Scott Derrickson, state that, his purpose in making Emily Rose was “not to persuade” or “not to provide any metaphysical answer” to the question of whether demonic possession is real. His purpose, in the words of religion columnist Terry Mattingly, was to “make believers think twice about what they believe and doubters have doubts about their doubts.”Derrickson added, “The research phase was horrible. I am glad that I know so much about it. … I also feel that for me, as a Christian, it is good to have that knowledge. But I will never do that again.”
The movie progresses through flashbacks in a courtroom, where Father Moore (Tom Wilkinson) is on trial. He is offered a deal (plead guilty 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) is not in favour of this, but also believes him for his conviction. Even 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.
Erins’ go-getter attitude and her nightmarish experiences builds the plot, or maybe pursuit her to believe what father Moore supporting is right.
But who is Emily Rose?
Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter in an amazing performance), is a happy-go-lucky college student and devout follower of God. She started to experience strange things happening around her like the faces of friends and strangers turn into demonic snarls. Her nightmares are extremely haunting. She speaks in different foreign languages. She loses weight like anything and calls home for help, crying. The parish priest, Father Moore, is contacted for help. An exorcism takes place.
He does have the authority from the archdiocese, but after he is into this murder case the church authorities order him to accept plea bargaining and create as little scandal for the church as possible. The church is curiously uncertain about exorcism. Church authorities believe that the devil and the people/agents of devil can be active in the world, it has a religious 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. It’s like those supporters of rationalist ideology where they want to shout science and logic but believes in black magic!
The Exorcism of Emily Rose is based on the real-life story of Anneliese Michel, a German college student and devout Catholic who died during an exorcism in 1976. Doctors said her seizures and visions were caused by epilepsy. Her family and their bishop believed it had been demon possession. German officials responded by prosecuting the parents and priest for criminal negligence. (They were found guilty but given suspended sentences.)
That sentiment should guide potential viewers of this film. This is not a movie one sees merely to be entertained. It’s pretty grim and quite dark in some places. But it is not exploitative.
It also tells a story of faith and compassion. Father Moore is quiet and utterly selfless. He is a man of resolute faith. And despite what is happening to her, Emily seemingly never loses her faith in God. The story doesn’t deal with the issue of whether demons possess Christians. The exposition during the courtroom scenes explores the relationship between faith and science—and between faith and doubt. (No, the two are not necessarily in conflict in either case.)
It strikes me how such demonstrations of selflessness and faith are rare for any type of movie. But they’re truly unique considering Emily Rose‘s genre. And, indeed, in this movie’s case, it’s the genre it belongs to a new, unique an different as most of them only focus on exorcism.
Do let us know in the comments below if you liked the movie review The Exorcism of Emily Rose, what do you think about the judgement in this case of Emily Rose and who’s side you”ll pick!
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