THE RECKONING Add To My Top 10

Pedophile Gets Divine Justice

Content -1
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: March 05, 2004

Starring: Paul Bettany, Willem Dafoe, Seymour Cassel, Gina McKee, Brian Cox, Simon McBurney, and Elvira Minguez

Genre: Drama

Audience: Adults

Rating: R

Runtime: 110 minutes

Distributor: Paramount Classics

Director: Paul McGuigan

Executive Producer: Stephen Evans and Angus Finney

Producer: Caroline Wood

Writer: Mark Mills

Address Comments To:

David Dinerstein and Ruth Vitale
Co-Presidents
Paramount Classics
A Division of Paramount Pictures
5555 Melrose Avenue
Chevalier Building
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Phone: (323) 956-2000
Fax: (323) 862-1012
Website: www.paramountclassics.com

Content:

(CC, FR, L, VV, S, N, M) Christian worldview diminished by some dialogue questioning God’s omnipotence, although divine justice is meted out at the end; two exclamatory profanities; quick flashbacks of man being beaten, discussions of boy being killed, woman attacks man, man digs up corpse, man knifed, bite marks on back of raped boy, boy’s corpse, but no excessive blood or gore; flashbacks of sexual activity, but very little shown, and staged representation of pedophile behavior by clothed actors, nothing significant shown; upper male nudity and female breast in breastfeeding scene; no drinking; no smoking; and, lying, condemnation of homosexuality and pedophilia, condemnation of collusion between church and feudal lord, lots of theology discussed, preaching of the Gospel, and actors enact church morality play about Adam and Eve.
GENRE: Drama


Summary:

THE RECKONING, set in medieval England around the 14th Century, is a strong morality play about a troupe of actors who uncover a terrible murder plot. THE RECKONING has a lot of strong Christian content, diminished by some dialogue questioning God’s omnipotence.


Review:

Set in medieval England at the time of Geoffrey Chaucer, circa the 14th Century, THE RECKONING is a strong morality play. It is based on a book called MORALITY PLAY and contains lots of theological discussion, which seems to say at the end that God is not omnipotent or why would He allow children to suffer, even though miraculous divine justice is rendered to the villain and the lawbreaker.
The movie begins with a man cutting off all his hair by a stream. A flashback reveals the same man, Nicholas, played powerfully by Paul Bettany, giving a sermon on the Book of Romans in a small church. He is distracted by a woman breastfeeding her baby and by an attractive young wife. Soon flashbacks reveal that he committed adultery with the young wife in the church and is on the run.
Nicholas joins an acting troupe, led by Martin, played by Willem Dafoe. They go to a town surrounding a castle and put on a typical church mystery play, which earns them very little money. In the process, they find out that a deaf and dumb woman has been accused of killing a young boy. They decide to make a morality play about the killing. As they research the killing, they find out that the lord of the manor, the Norman lord Robert de Guise, may have perpetrated several unspeakable pedophile acts and murdered several young boys. A final confrontation between Nicholas and Lord Robert occurs in the church.
THE RECKONING is not a big budget Hollywood movie, but the historical accuracy of the sets and costumes has been noted by many reviewers. It has a lot of strong Christian content, diminished by statements such as, “Why would an all-powerful God allow this to happen to little children?” The dialogue seems headed in a humanist direction, but the plot seems to reveal miraculous divine justice.
The acting is the high point of this movie, but the direction sometimes falters. The director allows some of the dialogue to be mumbled and allows the plot to wander in a couple of places. After a long but interesting setup, the movie kicks into gear as an interesting mystery tale.
THE RECKONING is worthwhile viewing. It’s something that some of us would like to see again, to ferret out all the layers of meaning and allegory.


In Brief:

THE RECKONING, set in medieval England around the 14th Century, is a strong morality play. Paul Bettany of MASTER AND COMMANDER plays Nicholas, a priest on the run for committing adultery. Nicholas joins an acting troupe, which encounters a deaf and dumb woman accused of killing a young boy. They decide to make a morality play about the murder. As they research the murder, they find out that the lord of the town, Robert de Guise, may have perpetrated several unspeakable pedophile acts and murdered several young boys. A final confrontation between Nicholas and Lord Robert occurs in the church.
THE RECKONING has a lot of strong Christian content, diminished by statements such as, “Why would an all-powerful God allow this to happen to little children?” The dialogue seems headed in a humanist direction, but the plot reveals divine justice. The acting, sets, and costumes are the high point of this movie, but the direction sometimes falters. The director allows some of the dialogue to be mumbled and allows the plot to wander in a couple of places. After a long but interesting setup, the movie kicks into gear as an interesting mystery tale.