“We are all priest of Christ”, ucap Father Tomasz (Łukasz Simlat), in a lecture in a juvenile prison, where our protagonist, Daniel (Bartosz Bielenia), is languishing. This sentence implies that all human beings can spread goodness according to God’s teachings. But what if the words were applied literally? That is the main idea of Corpus Christi, which succeeded in becoming one of the nominees for Best International Feature Film, as Poland’s representative at the Academy Awards earlier this year. Top Movie Site
Daniel was detained in a juvenile prison after committing second-degree murder, and due to his criminal background, Daniel could not fulfill his dream of becoming a priest. One day he was released on parole, then was sent to work in a sawmill in a rural area. “What should you do first outside?” Asked Father Tomasz. “Sober. That’s obvious, “Daniel replied firmly. A second later we see him enjoying his freedom by smoking cocaine, drinking, having sex, and partying all night long.
Having no place to stay the night, Daniel also visits the church, where he meets Marta (Eliza Rycembel), and casually claims to be a pastor. This fun seems to be taken seriously. When the local pastor had to leave some time for treatment, Daniel was asked to replace him to fill mass. Although initially confused, Daniel was able to get through it smoothly. Very smooth in fact. The parishioners like Daniel, who actually took Father Tomasz’s lecture, which he heard in prison.
The inaugural Mass was beautifully packaged by director Jan Komasa, where Daniel stood in front of a pair of angel statues, shining with a tinge of sunlight, with a facial expression that made him feel as if he was receiving a revelation from God. From there Daniel’s new adventure begins. This highly relevant adventure represents an issue that is rife these days, no matter what religion. It is enough to wear religious attributes, plus a little speaking skills, especially regarding mobilizing the masses, it is so easy for someone to call himself a cleric, priest, ustaz, and others. Best Movie
But Corpus Christi is a hopeful film about atonement and the process of forgiveness. So, instead of punishing “the copycat”, the manuscript by Mateusz Pacewicz shows that the lie can become reality, if there is great determination to change. Residents like Daniel because of his relatable figure, especially when he began to explore the tragedy that enveloped the village with sadness and hatred.
Apparently there had just been a car accident that killed six teenagers, including Marta’s sister. In front of the church, they posted photos of the victims and prayed in front of them every day. Daniel did not insist on understanding God’s decision, but invited them to pray that God would help them understand His decision, which felt unfair, even cruel.
That’s how awesome this film is. His status as a prisoner, rather than leading Corpus Christi to fantasy impossibilities, actually makes the character’s transformation and contribution to the environment feel believable. Prisoners like Daniel know best about human weaknesses and ugliness, making it easier for them to humanize the congregation, whether they realize it or not. Something similar happened in the subplot that flicked corrupt officials. Our protagonist refuses to resign, despite intimidation from the mayor (Leszek Lichota). Not because of faith, but the result of life’s hardships, both on the streets and in prison.
Pacewicz composes a script that’s full, almost blank, with several subplots that actually lie on the line between making the film overstuffed or rich. Corpus Christi fortunately falls into the second category, because the branches of the story have succeeded in supporting the main idea, that “Daniel is the right man for the job”. Likewise the actor who played it. Through the performance of Bartosz Bielenia, we can read the dilemma of the protagonist, who is crushed by two choices, whether to defend the truth or find it safe.
Corpus Christi talks about how the appendage of religiosity is losing its substance. It is not only caused by false religious leaders, but also ordinary people who easily take the name of God as justification for their actions. Today, it feels like God’s name has become very cheap. Movie Review