The Reckoning

  • 15
  • Paul McGuigan (2001)
  • UK / Sp
  • 105 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Based on Barry Unsworth's novel Morality Play, this medieval murder-mystery play follows a troupe of travelling players that drop their religious repertoire to expose the corruption hiding under the Church's righteous protection. Paul Bettany plays a young priest on the run from an adulterous past who joins a group of itinerant actors, led by Martin (Willem Dafoe). The group wanders into a town where a woman (Elvira Minguez) has been sentenced to death for the murder of a young boy. Martin's company then determines to tell the story of the killing in the form of a production for the local townsfolk. Director Paul McGuigan maintains a mood as dark as the overcast sky and the plague-ridden times, but lapses into theatricality for the finale. But, although it could never match the doomsday atmosphere of Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal, it does successfully reflect the primitive, spiritual passion of a time when God was an avenger, not a redeemer.

Plot Summary

A young priest joins a group of travelling actors in an attempt to escape from his adulterous past. When the wandering troupe pass through a town where a woman has been sentenced to death for murdering a young boy, they are inspired to perform a re-enactment of the crime for the local people. However, their play leads them to uncover a disturbing conspiracy. Medieval murder mystery, starring Paul Bettany and Willem Dafoe.

Cast and crew

Cast

Martin
Willem Dafoe
Nicholas
Paul Bettany
Sarah
Gina McKee
Tobias
Brian Cox
Simon Damian
Ewen Bremner
Robert de Guise
Vincent Cassel
Stephen
Simon McBurney
Straw
Tom Hardy
Martha
Elvira Minguez

Crew

Director
Paul McGuigan

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
Entertainment
Guidance: 
Contains violence and sex scenes.
Available on video and DVD
Released 4 Jun 2004
Categories
Drama

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