Edition: India  
 
> >

MOVIE REVIEW: My Scientology Movie

One News Page Staff Sunday, 27 November 2016
MOVIE REVIEW: My Scientology Movieby

LOUIS THEROUX: MY SCIENTOLOGY MOVIE

IMDb

Dir: John Dower

Starring Louis Theroux

starstarstarstarstar    2.5 STARS (out of 5)

British documentary mainstay Louis Theroux is no stranger to some of the world’s more sensitive topics – he’s visited prisons that are home to some of the world’s most notorious criminals, he’s spent weekends with the now infamous Jimmy Savile – all the while offering the same friendly, softly questioning approach. He’s never too afraid to ask certain questions, and he knows exactly the right time to do so – and the topic of Scientology is something that, perhaps, was inevitable for the veteran film-maker to tackle given the amount of time he’s been on our screens.

My Scientology Movie perhaps isn’t your typical probe into one of the most-talked about organised religions on the planet – it’s more of a series of reconstructions of alleged encounters between high-ranking Scientologists and those working their way into the bosom of the family. Theroux takes time to meet and discuss various alleged altercations that may have occurred behind doors at the Church of Scientology – while offering a running conceit of hiring actors to effectively play out allegations made by ex-members who have agreed to meet with him.

My Scientology Movie - Review

My Scientology Movie, despite its intentions, isn’t the shock exposé that it perhaps wants to be – it balances itself neatly on the word of a number of disgraced and excommunicated members of the Church, and while their testimony is fascinating and, at times, disturbing, there is little to counterbalance their word other than rebuttals from the Church itself. There were no existing Scientologists who took part willingly in Theroux’s documentary, but the Church has made sure to make its feelings known on his film-making in the process.

With any Theroux documentary, there are moments of humour and light-heartedness, and there certainly are elements here, twinged with shock value – it’s a documentary which certainly tries to make the case for unorthodox actions taking place behind Scientology’s closed doors, and while it doesn’t probe too deeply into what makes the Church tick as a whole, it stays tightly focused upon what it is that drove certain members to leave, and what could be expected from some of the Church’s high-ranking members. All allegations, as stated, have been refuted by those within Scientology at the time of the film having been made.

My Scientology Movie - Official Trailer (Magnolia Pictures & Magnet Releasing)

Theroux makes brave attempts to connect with and probe members of the Church who try to dissuade him from trespassing near their headquarters – and while his gumption is always a treat to see on film whenever it rolls around, there is a great feeling of futility surrounding this movie. It’s one that loves to speculate and to discuss what may or may not be happening, but never truly seizes on enough to really leave the viewer feeling stunned. The allegations made here are particularly shocking – and, if true, are as fascinating as they are abhorrent – but as the Church is still operating, and as such claims are unlikely to ever be backed up by anyone barring those who leave Scientology, it’s hard to glean such closure from such a documentary on the topic.

That being said, it certainly makes for gripping, and perhaps even tense viewing – there are genuine moments of drama between Theroux and some of the ex-Scientologists, and there are even more from moments where current Church members approach those who have left the religion – making for some particularly uncomfortable viewing. Theroux has a way of really trying to get to grips with the people he interviews by making friends with them and then approaching them as candidly as possible. With a topic as contentious as organised religion, and with the Church of Scientology largely opting to avoid to offer such closure to anyone on the outside, it was sadly clear from the beginning that this would not be a documentary with much closure – spectacle, certainly, but little in the way of certainty.

That being said, My Scientology Movie is a fascinating look into the knowns and unknowns of the Church of Scientology, and it’s conducted in a unique and often humorous way that will resonate with many viewers. However, despite it providing particularly gripping viewing during some of the more uncomfortable moments, it’s a documentary that perhaps fails to add little more than to the weight of mystery surrounding the Church – it’s not a documentary that finds solid answers, rather it chooses to re-enact anecdotes from ex-members in an effort to better understand what may or may not be happening behind closed doors. On these grounds, it’s a perfectly affable movie – one that anyone interested in the subject will be keen to watch and digest – but it’s argued that an altogether better movie that tackles the same topic with more breadth is the Peabody Award-winning Going Clear.

If it’s a topic that intrigues you, it’s pretty entertaining – but don’t expect it to provide any concrete answers or leads that you may be looking for.


7
shares
Share on
Facebook
Share on
Twitter
Post on 
Reddit
Share by
Email
 

You Might Like


Recent related news

Baahubali 2 movie review: Prabhas and Anushka Shetty’s romance and stunning visual effects will leave you bedazzled

Baahubali 2 movie review: Prabhas, Rana Daggubati and Anushka Shetty's powerful performances enhance and make SS Rajamouli's magnum opus a visual splendour...
Bollywood Life - India

Noor movie review: Sonakshi Sinha strikes back with an endearing act in this feel-good entertainer

Book your tickets to watch Sonakshi Sinha's Noor this weekend! We bet you're gonna love it - read our Noor movie review here!
Bollywood Life - India

Movie Review: Noor

Saba Imtiaz’s novel, “Karachi, You’re Killing Me!” is a breezy if superficial read - a Pakistani “Bridget Jones’s Diary” of sort that captures the...
Reuters India - Entertainment

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 review roundup: Chris Pratt’s superhero flick is not as fun as the first movie but is still hilarious and action-packed

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is the Big Marvel movie releasing first in 2017, followed by Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thors: Ragnarok.
Bollywood Life - India


Other recent news in Entertainment

Baahubali 2 (Hindi) BEATS Salman Khan and SHAH RUKH KHAN's best 2-day totals and its EPIC run continues!Will Ferrell returns as George Bush on 'Not the WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS DINNER'
Shah Rukh Khan shares frame with HOLLYWOOD legend Warren Beatty - See picSeth Rogen to make a movie about FYRE FESTIVAL?
SALMAN KHAN's 'Tubelight' might not release on Eid in PakistanCast of 'THE GODFATHER' reunite for emotional 45th anniversary
AARON RODGERS spotted on golf date with Kelly RohrbachVENKAIAH NAIDU applauds 'Baahubali 2', draws parallels with 'Ben Hur'
Baahubali 2 star RANA DAGGUBATI makes a SHOCKING revelation, says he is blind from one eyeWATCH: Tom Hanks spills the beans about yacht trip with Oprah, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, and the Obamas

Twitter

pic

Joe Friar "My Scientology Movie" ends this Thursday at the @VCCinema #Austin "It entertains more than enlightens"… https://t.co/SkTFkwCO40 3 days ago

pic

Film 100 100 Word Review of My Scientology Movie (2015) https://t.co/S8mu6oW5uh #documentary #reviews 4 days ago

pic

EllyseAdele Vitiello RT @film100blog: 100 Word Review of My Scientology Movie (2015) https://t.co/S8mu6oW5uh #documentary #reviews 4 days ago

pic

Film 100 100 Word Review of My Scientology Movie (2015) https://t.co/S8mu6oW5uh #documentary #reviews 5 days ago

pic

East Ohio Conference Movie review: My Scientology Movie https://t.co/jm3BZm09Xv https://t.co/wzenLARJym 1 week ago

pic

ReelFox Quick "My Scientology Movie" Review: 7/10 1 week ago

•More original news reports from newsR
Environmentally friendly: newsR is hosted on servers powered solely by renewable energy
© 2017 newsR / One News Page Ltd. All Rights Reserved.  |  About us  |  Disclaimer  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Content Accreditation
 RSS  |  News for my Website  |  Free news search widget  |  Help  |  Contact us  |  DMCA / Content Removal
How are we doing? Send us your feedback  |   LIKE us on Facebook   FOLLOW us on Twitter