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Overall Rating
4

Awesome: 11.11%
Worth A Look77.78%
Just Average: 11.11%
Pretty Crappy: 0%
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2 reviews, 6 user ratings


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Crime of Padre Amaro, The
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by Elaine Perrone

"The Catholic priesthood placed under a microscope (again)."
4 stars

El crimen del Padre Amaro, based upon a story by Portuguese novelist Jose Maria Eça de Queirós, written in the late 19th century but updated to a small town in current-day Mexico, is an absorbing look at corruption and immorality in the Catholic priesthood. Obviously, some things never change.

As we see Father Amaro (Gael García Bernal) arrive at his first post in a dusty Mexican town, fresh out of the seminary, he appears to be a devout young man, sincere in his desire to serve his God and his church. It quickly becomes apparent, though, that his true fervor is ambition, and in that he fits in wonderfully with his superiors and is a quick study in the way the town works.

The elder priest of the parish, Padre Benito (Sancho Gracia), has a mistress, Angelina (Angélica Aragón), the owner of a local restaurant, and is building a clinic with laundered drug money, which is funneled through the mayor. The bishop (Ernesto Gómez Cruz), who knows full well of the goings-on, turns a blind eye for the sake of political expediency.

Father Amaro is also a quick study in what DOESN'T work in this insular and corrupt society: Rubén (Andrés Montiel), an honest young reporter who tries to publicize the town's political and religious shenanigans, and Padre Natalio (Damián Alcázar), a devout priest and activist guerilla supporter who won't fall in line with them, are quickly brought down, with Amaro, as the bishop's henchman, complicit in their destruction.

Adding to Amaro's confliction is Amelia (Ana Claudia Talancón), Angelina's -- and perhaps Benito's -- 16-year-old daughter and Rubén's ex-fiancee, whom Amaro can't keep his hands off. To say that "trouble ensues" doesn't begin to describe the horror of complications that result from their incendiary affair, in which he wraps her in the robes of the Virgin Mary and seduces her with verses from the Bible's Song of Songs, using a mentally handicapped child as a decoy to cover up their trysts.

In lesser hands, this might have turned in to The Thorn Birds II, but under the capable direction of Carlos Carrera, Padre Amaro is a sad, maddening look at bad people justifying their actions for the sake of expediency, and closing ranks when their misdeeds are, or might be, brought to light.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=7618&reviewer=376
originally posted: 07/29/04 19:56:09
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User Comments

8/13/05 love provoking, melodramatic and very interesting film 4 stars
11/02/04 jennette orlando i thought this film was a real eye opener to catholic religion. 5 stars
8/27/04 Abu everything is superb. you've got to love the catholic church. 4 stars
8/01/04 Charlene Javier Tad melodramatic. 3 stars
5/18/03 Andrew Carden Overdone Film Tries Too Hard To Be An Artistic Beauty, but Fails. Good Screenplay & Cast. 3 stars
5/14/03 mark a truley thought provoking and affecting modern tragedy 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  15-Nov-2002 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  22-May-2003




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