Luke McWilliams gives his review of the 2019 drama film, Corpus Christi, starring Bartosz Bielenia and Aleksandra Konieczna.
In a youth detention centre, young Daniel (Bartosz Bielenia) experiences a spiritual awakening. Wishing to join the priesthood upon his release, Daniel is disappointed to learn that he is unable to, due to his criminal past. On parole, he is assigned to work in a sawmill in a village. Once there Daniel visits the local church, and, after introducing himself to a young girl as a priest, he is promptly introduced to the local vicar who is seeking a temporary replacement.
Inspired by actual instances of fraud in the priesthood, we see Daniel arrive at the village and stumble into the opportunity to live his dream life as a priest. Knowing full well his own need for redemption, Daniel recognises the deep divide in the village; a result of a tragic loss due to a car crash. He takes it upon himself then to not only perform the role of the local vicar for the village using his fresh, unorthodox methods, but also to attempt to heal the community by controversially finding justice for the one perceived to be at fault.
Shot like a thriller with a saturated palette under mood lighting, Daniel’s character shifts between convict and saviour, with the question of redemption and forgiveness ever present. The village’s tragedy is a metaphor for the senseless and devastating 2010 Smolensk disaster which left a country reeling.
Verdict: An excellent performance by Bielenia (Clergy) and examination of the virtues of redemption and forgiveness, regardless of who is preaching them. 4.5 stars.
- Luke McWilliams | themovieclub.net