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Average customer rating:
5 out of 5
ISBN/ASIN : 6305428093
Manufacturer : Walt Disney Video|
Release data : 07 September, 1999
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A selection of product reviews
Superb film but US version has been censored
This is quite simply a superb film with a strong message about intolerance and sexuality. I had the film on VHS for a long time but it was getting worn so while in the US purchased the DVD as it does not seem to have been released here in that format. I was hugely disappointed to discover that several key scenes had been cut or shorted to just a few seconds, no doubt to pander to middle American sensibilities, including a beautiful gay love scene. This is a crying shame because you so seldom see this depicted in such a positive and loving way. At a time when the public so often see homosexuality as a sex thing, the chance has been lost to show that gay men do, in fact, fall in deeply, passionately and very innocently love just like everyone else. I look forward to the day the uncut version appears on DVD in the UK. Until then, I can't recommend this film highly enough, despite the censorship.
Controversial but an uncommonly brilliant film
"Priest" was always bound to court controversy, being about a homosexual Catholic priest, and garnered alot of unfair negative publicity as a result. This is a real shame, because "Priest" is a magnificent film that covers alot of ground emotionally. The fact that the lead character happens to be a priest is (for me atleast) secondary to the main point of the film. The real core of what this film is about is love (or the lack of it) and personal relationships.
Father Greg Pilkington (Linus Roache) has to struggle with his own conflicting emotions about being gay AND being a priest, whilst dealing with the day-to-day reality of what his 'job' as a priest entails. And when he is confronted with the awful situation of a young girl who reveals to him that she is being sexually abused by her father, his faith is shaken to it's core. Pilkington (although bound by the confidentiality of the confessional), attempts to confront the father, who sneers in his face and flatly refuses to accept that his actions are wrong. With a deep feeling of powerlessness against such an evil, coupled with his denial of his own love for his partner (played brilliantly by Robert Carlyle), Father Pilkington finds himself in turmoil. Things are brought to a head when he is caught 'in flagrante' with his lover by the police, leading to consternation within his parish, and his (temporary) removal from the church whilst he does his pennance. But the friendship and support of another priest, Father Thomas (Tom Wilkinson, also of Full Monty fame) brings him back from the brink. Only Father Thomas' ability to challenge his own narrow-mindedness by accepting Pilkington's homosexuality (and hence realising his ultimately good and loving nature), is able to pull Plikington back from turning away from the priesthood completely.
Although at times harrowing and serious, "Priest" also has some great moments that are brilliantly funny, like when Pilkington asks a stone-faced woman with a neck-brace if she has hurt her neck, to which she replies "No, I'm a dedicated follower of fashion." Also, Tony Booth (Tony Blair's father-in-law!) makes a hilarious (albeit serious) cameo as he angrily objects to Pilkington's reinstatement, and shouts "No! This is NOT ON! Have you got Jeremy Beadle stashed somewhere or what?"
The scenes where Pilkington is together with his partner (Carlyle) are both sensual and exhilirating, and do not flinch from portraying their homosexual relationship as erotically and candidly as should be done alot more in modern day cinema. Another excellent touch is the use of location-specific music. Set in Liverpool, an amazing rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' brings the film to an emotional and powerful climax. Infact, the lyrics of that song express succinctly what this film is all about.
Maybe not for the narrow-minded, "Priest" is no more of an insult to Catholic people as is the price of cheese. If anything, it seeks only to challenge those who run and use the Church for their own ends, at the expense of those who seek to serve the People. Ultimately, this film is a hopeful message that, despite differences of lifestyle, opinions, and beliefs, people may live together in happiness through friendship, love and understanding.
Wonderful! Gripping! Funny! Emotional! Buy it!
I am SO glad that I bought this video. It is a film that can....and will be watched over and over again. You can't help feeling involved in the story. I had my expectations that the story was going to be solely about the sexuality of the priest, but it's not. Yes it plays a large part of the film, but a lot of it is struggle with the morals and ethics of being a priest, and his being accepted by the community, when he is "outed".
I urge you to buy this video.