Spotlight ★★★★★

What makes Spotlight stand out among movies that are based on a true story is that it does not make the main characters seem like out of ordinary people. They are not heroes. They are nothing more than everyday people are seeking to reveal the truth in the world. On the surface, the story seems like it is all about just reveal an issue within the church, but there is a tone of nuance within the story. In the first eight minutes, McCarthy sets up undertows that pull you in and crosscurrents that engage your instincts and attention for the next two hours. 
I heavily appreciate how the movie opens up showing how the organization has other stories that they could take, but they decide to take on a case that most are scared to challenge. The movie never overdoes on the seriousness of the issue at once. The fact it does not overdo the seriousness of the subject shows how the movie has a tone of respect for the subject by choosing to give you new pieces to the puzzle with each scene. The movie takes time to tell its story. It is a gradual build-up with each scene. Each scene reveals the struggles people have experienced with a corrupted system, but also reveals the complex roadblocks the main characters have to go through to learn more information. 

When the main characters interact with someone, the characters are careful with how they ask their questions. A small detail such as that is effective cause it shows that the main characters do have empathy towards those involved while also trying to distance themselves from the event. The movie really shows how complex taking on such a task is when you have a character who is trying to distance themselves from the experiences of those they talk to but cannot help but feel so much rage and frustration that they cannot solve the problem. They know if they cannot reveal such a problem to the world, more people will be targeted. Spotlight succeeds as both a tribute to the power of the press and a vivid exploration of a major daily as an evolving urban organism.

The movies that always work best for me are the ones whose stories are able to apply to a multitude of situations. I love how the movie takes its take to explore the complexities of taking on a powerful institution. Seeing these characters not wanting to back down against such a powerful institution shows how dedication one must have in order to try and make a change. We learn how people keep quiet about the problems and how there are narratives created that reinforce why people do not speak out against specific societal expectations that perpetuate problems. We can apply that control an institution like the church has to how other institutions control the behaviors of others.

When our main characters are interacting with others to learn more info, some tell them that they should not be talking. Those small moments mean so much cause we learn how far the power of these institutions has spread into other power systems that also have more agency those the common people. Each interaction about why a person should remain silent on a subject does nothing but contribute to the norm that people should not speak up against these larger institutions. I remind me of how subjects regarding similar or the same issues are brought up in conversation and people do not want to talk about them. Gotta be honest, that really makes me annoyed. So if its something happy or not regarding real problems you do not want to talk about it? The movie presents ideas about how if we do not talk about these things, we are also contributing to why people who do experience these problems do not speak out about them. We are all part of the problem. This movie makes me motivated to make sure I use the knowledge in my field of study to ensure that I can help as many people as I can. I refuse to be a coward who does not talk about these problems due to the excuse of “not knowing how to”. That fucking excuse is old at this point. It might be hard to talk about these issues, but remember that there are actual victims who find it much harder cause they lived it. They reach so people can hear their voices and all we do is move on and hope someone else picks up the pieces. We have to do better instead of being passive on real shit. One of the hardest things to do is to question the institutions that have given you purpose in life. The movie presents the idea of thinking about the flaws of the institutions that have taught you about the world and have they have not only limited your world view but also they have caused you to also contribute to the oppression of others.  
The character I relate to is Mike in the movie. His arc is so powerful throughout the movie due to his own crisis of faith that he experiences. He is doing whatever it takes to go against that once gave him purpose when he was young in life and not this experience is where he completely loses his religious faith. Instead of being consumed by a faith, Mike is consumed by rage and passion for wanting to reveal the truth. He grew up learning a singular truth and now he is here to prove that the truth him and millions of people have learned are corrupt. Most of the characters have an arc or experience progression throughout the movie challenging what the have learned, which causes them to reflect on who they are when they do not have complete faith in the Church like they use to. It is a major shift for all the characters to leave part of themselves behind to avoid the anger the situation would cause them. 

It is scary how far institutions are willing to go to keep their dark aspects a secret and also how it is a cycle that is perpetuated by a multitude of things in our world. The contrast between the Church and Journalism also functions to really show the difference between the institutions. We have an institution doing what it can to keep quiet about its failures while we have a smaller institution coming together as a true community to break through the problems. Spotlight worked together and actively voices against the problem while the church divides and conquers to remain powerful. It shows how a family of people who know where they truly belong is capable of revealing the sins of the father, which in turn reveals theirs and other people's sins that contributed to the silencing of really went down. 

The first time I watched the movie, I got 12 angry men vibes. Watching character who is portrayed as the everyday person trying to do the right thing is inspirational. The common people are capable of making a difference. It does not matter if you are in a big position of power or not. You will experience difficulty if you want to make a social change or make people aware of a problem so others can continue to do more work in the future to create change. We all must come together. Come together in the darkest times and talk about these problems. We learn more about ourselves, the world, and each other. Through hard work, we can at least make some small changes happen with whatever it is that we do. Lets put the spotlight on some real problems. More importantly, though, let us are there for each other. Doing all of this can have an effect on us. Just know you do not have to do it alone. Even if you do not make the progress you want, just have to get up and try again.  

I love this movie. One of my all-time favorites with an amazing cast that really shows the hard work needed to get the truth out.

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