Seminary student Michael Kovak reluctantly attends exorcism school at the Vatican. While he’s in Rome, Michael meets an unorthodox priest who introduces him to the darker side of his faith, uncovering the devil’s reach even to one of the holiest places on Earth.
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Michael, the son of a funeral director grows indifferent to his father and joins a Seminary. On his way to the course completion, he is overwhelmed by a strong lack of faith. His religious beliefs are further jolted when he sees a young girl haplessly dying in a road accident for whom he reluctantly performs the ritual to absolve her sins. His mentor still believes in him and urges him to go to Italy to take an exorcism course hoping that he it would strengthen his faith in Christianity. In Italy he attends a session from Father Xavier who soon becomes aware of his skepticism. As a result he sends him to an eminent Jesuit exorcist, Father Lucas, whose ways though questionable are quite effective. He witnesses the exorcism of a sixteen year old girl but still seems unconvinced. Father Lucas explains to him that it takes multiple sessions over a long stretch of time to completely free a victim from the demon. Despite witnessing some supernatural occurrences during the aforesaid exorcism...
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From what I could see on sites such as Rotten Tomatoes, the critical consensus was not too favorable. Yet Roger Ebert thought it was a decent little film. After seeing it, so did I.nnThe scenario of this film was tailor-made for Anthony Hopkins. Could you imagine a better excuse for scenery-chewing and over-the-top carrying-on, other than demonic possession? So you can't complain about the overacting: the Devil made him do it. The demonically-possessed cannot be expected to turn in a subtle performance.nnHopkins did a perfectly fine job with the set up. And the rest of the cast was equally suitable for what they had to do.nnIt was good to see Rutger Hauer again, a totally remarkable and outstanding actor. He had a very limited role (maybe five minutes screen time total), enough to make me wish he worked more in current films. I miss him.nnI have not read the book this film is supposedly based on. But I would assume that fidelity to it is not a major point. There was a lot of humanity and recognizable human emotions evident in this film, and I saw no indications that the film was intended to convert unbelievers. And it worked up to some very suspenseful situations. Which is just what a thriller should do.nnThis was another instance of Roman Catholic exorcism. There were seven
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