"Too Many Negatives"
What You Need To Know:
EMPIRE OF LIGHT has heartfelt moments that promote compassion, empathy and personal healing through communal camaraderie. These positive moments, however, clash with the movie’s politically correct, humanist content. The movie falsely blames Margaret Thatcher’s conservative government for the racist skinhead movement at the time in Britain. Finally, EMPIRE OF LIGHT also has lots of strong foul language and scenes of depicted sexual immorality. The movie’s negative content is excessive and unacceptable.
EMPIRE OF LIGHT is a British drama, set in a British coastal city in the early 1980s, about a middle-aged white woman coping with mental illness who works at a multiplex movie theater, who begins an affair with a young black man who starts working at the theater. EMPIRE OF LIGHT has some heartfelt moments revolving around compassion, empathy and communal camaraderie, but it contains lots of strong foul language, depicted sexual immorality and strong humanist, politically correct, anti-conservative elements and identity politics with leftist revisionist history attacking Margaret Thatcher’s attempt to bring freedom and prosperity to Great Britain, which she did.
Olivia Coleman plays Hilary, the middle-aged woman coping with mental illness who helps manage a multiplex movie theater in a British coastal city. Mr. Ellis, the married owner of the theater, is cheating on his wife with Hilary. He forces her to have intercourse in his office, and Hilary mechanically goes along with it, because he let her keep her managerial job after her last mental breakdown.
A young black man named Stephen gets a job at the theater, and Hilary shows him the ropes. Stephen is kind to her, and they become friends, then lovers. However, Hilary doesn’t tell Stephen about her previous mental breakdown. Also, she stops taking her lithium meds, which results in some erratic behavior.
Eventually, things come to a head during a fancy premiere for CHARIOTS OF FIRE at the theater. Also, at one point a protest led by white racist “skinheads” turns violent and some of the racists bust into the movie theater, loot the concession stand and beat up Stephen, sending him to the hospital.
EMPIRE OF LIGHT is a well-acted and nicely photographed work. It has some heartfelt moments that promote compassion, empathy and personal healing through communal camaraderie. These positive moments, however, clash with the movie’s politically correct, humanist content that falsely blames Margaret Thatcher’s conservative government in Great Britain with the racist skinheads who rioted in the early 1980s, like the ones who beat up Stephen in the movie.
EMPIRE OF LIGHT also has lots of strong foul language, including may “f” words and a few profanities. It also has two scenes of depicted sexual immorality. So, MOVIEGUIDE® finds the movie to be excessive and unacceptable. The writer/director, Sam Mendes, is a talented person with a couple really good, redemptive movies under his belt, such as SKYFALL and 1917, but EMPIRE OF LIGHT could have benefitted from a more spiritual, Christian, conservative outlook of people and society.
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