aswin rayendra’s review published on Letterboxd:
2001; CRT flat screen monitors, horizontal mobile-phone waist sleeve, AOL advertisement, the last great American printed journalism before it’s gradually taken down by internet-era information overload. Those are small, subtle details that tailored this movie into something much more believable (apart from knowing that this is based on actual story), added with the super realistic dialogues & professional portrayal of journalists. This movie is downright serious and I’ll be honest, I watched this twice and I got accidentally slept on the first 30 mins twice as well.. but today, the second try, I tried to continue the movie afterwards and I feel glad that I did!
It’s getting much better once Mark Rufallo starts running around from one building to another, as such sense of urgency also starts to build. The more the secrets, the conspiracy starts to unfold, the more it pulls my attention. It’s a secret that everyone actually knows, but no one speaks, and it kept hidden in front of eyes of the media.
The movie might not be my cup of tea to begin with. I tried this kind of a movie where small group against corrupted system made by greater power before, that’s when I watched the Big-Short. Luckily it was helped by the balance of funny/serious undertone and 4th wall breaker sequences and I liked it, a lot. I know it’s not gonna be the case in this movie as it’s telling much serious theme of morality, society & involving huge religious institution as well. That could explained why it was really hard for me to withstand the boredom at the start of the movie.
Another major complaint about this movie is lacking of cinematic personality, this is coming from someone who just watched Doubt (a smaller and much more intimate movie bringing similar topic with greater performance from Meryl Streep and P.S. Hoffman, compared to Spotlight) a couple weeks back where Roger Deakins went really hard on cinematography. In conclusion, Spotlight is not a bad movie at all, but we are living in a world where Zodiac also exists.