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  • This is what happens when you have such great actors, a quite interesting/shocking/real topic to develop and the talent to picture all of that without being unnecessarily explicit.

    Absolutely a great Mexican film, the acting that Juan Manuel Bernal gives is just outstanding and precise, the children look spontaneous but traumatized along with their unbelievably blind parents.

    The story is terrible and even hideous which only feeds the capacity that the movie has to transmit that and to make you feel terrible and shocked of the evilness that a human being can posses. The subtlety of this film is horrifying and quite effective.

    If you are looking for a graphic movie without any important reflection of this disgusting/human topic then this is not your call, on the other hand what you are going to find here is an outrageous story perfectly and subtly depicted with the only purpose to terrify your very deep human side.
  • Yes. As the other reviewer (until now) stated. this is not a fantastically crafted film script- wise. But, for people like me, who belonged to one of these incredibly large and powerful organisations for many many years, the script rings so many bells that it becomes a bit unbearable at certain times.

    Yes, the cinematography is lush and beautiful. The locations, again, ring true (if you're familiar with the real story behind them), even the looks, the cars, the rituals, the words, the ideas to be ingrained in the children's minds. I mean, mostly everything rings more than one bell in my mind and really made me shiver and feel uneasy most of the film.

    Acting-wise, there are many good choices and pretty well known ones. I'd say Manuel gives a terrifying performance that made me cringe more than once.

    In the end, the film treats with grace and delicacy things that are not to be shown anymore on the big or small screen because they'll be banned. That's sad, but that's how this kind of experiences and their immense publicity have changed the film industry to tell stories with more guts. I don't blame anyone for that... its' just the way it is and it's a sad thing for the film industry, for the real people, for spectators and for the sake of well-translated books into films.

    Since this film covers with flashes a much more complex story, it will never be the "Story of the Legionaires of Christ" in full, but it depicts enough to understand why there was such a huge scandal throughout the world, especially in Mexico. Well done!
  • André Breton once said that Mexico was the most surrealist country in the world and he was right: for its landscapes, its harmony between myth, legend and reality, for its cultural animism, according to which each manifestation of nature, be it a rock or a carnation, has a soul. Those ideas came to my mind while I was watching «Perfect Obedience», Luis Urquiza Mondragón's first film that received many awards in 2014, but which has been numbed by the phariseeism that characterizes our societies... Or is it Satanism, the real one, not the rockers' or snobs' versions, but that Satanism that permeates the strata of power and its acolytes among the middle class, conformed by succubi and incubi, who have nothing to do with fantasy?

    «Perfect Obedience» is a film about pedophilia among members of the Catholic Church. It is not an overtly condemnatory work, but is it neither complicit nor exalting. The movie does not gloat when it throws the first stone, but it warns the spectators, as if urging them to look at their own transgressions before becoming the most pious of all. Contradictory in intention sometimes it is, and completely in the final credits, when it warns that it is based on real facts, and then indicates that its characters do not resemble anyone, and its story is not similar to any other. However, those who look for sources know that it is based on the case of the pedophile priest Marcial Maciel, perpetrator of sexual crimes against prepubescent and pubescent boys that were concealed by ecclesiastical authorities of Mexico and the Vatican.

    However, the overwhelming accumulation of information and images seems to come from a lot of similar stories. They include rape, drug addiction, alcoholism, sexual blackmail by women and endless aberrations. All this is well known by someone like Urquiza, who spent eight years in a seminary, or like all the ordinary beings that we were aware of (in addition to those who were victims of) the erotic goings-on in the Catholic school where we were educated, among priests, students and teachers.

    In the first minutes, with Alejandro Giacomán's omnipresent music, I thought, "Oh, hell, another one of those melodramas buried in musical notes ad nauseam", but as the story progressed the soundtrack was distilled and, seeing the sincerity of the result, I said to myself, "Well, no... this is pure horror cinema!" So if you see it, be warned, not for the thrills of the cheap horror story (which you will not find here), but for the assaults suffered by the young seminarians, mostly off camera or on black screen. The main victims of the humiliations are Julián, whom the head of seminary, the voracious Father Ángel de la Cruz, baptizes as Sacramento Santos (poor Sebastián Aguirre, the same guy from "Güeros"!), and his friend Alberto (Alejandro de Hoyos). These two cases are the ones we know for sure, because we soon deduce that Father Ángel (Juan Manuel Bernal) has raped many infant and adolescent seminarians from the urban and rural Mexican bourgeoisie. Because, mind you, in this the film is not surrealistic at all: it sets aside the heritage of the original peoples and almost all the kids are white, blond, with transparent eyes and dull languor.

    What I found most interesting is that the film (written by Urquiza and Ernesto Alcócer, whose book is the basis of the screenplay) does not scourges anybody, but coldly and calculatedly reveals to us the process of domination and control (inspired by words of Saint Ignatius of Loyola) to arrive at "perfect obedience". The film won the Ariel awards for best script, actor (Bernal) and young actor (Aguirre), the Diosa de Plata awards for best young actor (Aguirre) and supporting actor (Juan Ignacio Aranda as Father Galaviz), the Jury Prize for best first film at the Lodz film festival and the Grand Prix des Amériques and Audience awards at the Montréal film festival. Recommended.
  • I was really excited to watch this movie, and I went out from the theater truly disappointed. Here is why:

    Story: Of course I was interested in watching this film after Spring Break or "Holly Week" in Mexico because I knew about the controversy that was going to make on the premiere. Despite being a Catholic myself, I was glad to see the "dark side" from church and some justice for those abused innocent children. However, I was not happy about the result. There were many, many missing aspects and cases, especially from Father Maciel, who did a lot more atrocities.

    Script: Not well written, no memorable lines, not a good plot.

    Plot: Boring, scene transitions are quick and do not explain anything at all, and contains a lot of plot holes.

    Direction: Horrible. If the script was bad, obviously the direction also will be.

    Acting: Excellent, everyone was good, except the main actor (Julian) who seems Kristen Stewart's brother.

    Scenery: Beautiful and appropriate to the time where the story is set.

    Cinematography: I'm glad that Mexico is improving its camera shots and visual quality.

    Score: One of the best things from this film. Every musical theme fits in every scene, and the song election was appropriate.

    Genre: They try so hard to add some drama, but they totally fail. I had seen more convincing crying.

    Edition: The voice-over did not sound well at times, and did not fit with background music. Sometimes I couldn't understand what the narrator said.

    I'm sad that such important topic wasn't addressed in this awful film, but at least I hope that people start to take care of their children and not listen everything religion teaches. Director's intentions were good, but failed at the end.

    6.4/10