THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016 ) Review Sunday 19th June 2016.A young priest, Father Smith (François Arnaud) newly working in the community (and looking at times very much like a young Lou Reed

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A young priest, Father Smith (François Arnaud) newly working in the community (and looking at times very much like a young Lou Reed), who is just about coping on a diet of fried eggs and alcohol supplemented by the occasional salad while his housekeeper is ill in hospital, is beginning to find his faith in God and his position in life under question before a confession from a very explicit young woman tests the very limits of his endurance.  As this confession turns into a relationship, he finds himself drawn further and further from his calling.


Eventually finding himself completely disgraced, he is called to Rome for spiritual rehabilitation, but this itself takes him into even darker realms as he is asked by an old and powerful friend to go underground and find the mysterious leader of an anarchist group whose members are known only as days of the week.  Infiltrating the group, he falls under the spell of the sensual woman known as Saturday, but will she lead him to his given objective, to find the mysterious leader known only as Sunday.


Inspired by G.K. Chesterton’s existentialist 1908 novel of the same name, this film questions not only the very inner workings of the Catholic Church, but also how we perceive the existence of good and evil, of God and the Devil.


This is a stylish thriller in its own right, but the religious twist takes us into realms not normally visited by this genre.  It does not take much to figure out after a while who the mysterious Sunday might be, but even the answer to that is not the answer to who Sunday actually is...let alone who Saturday really is and the relationship between the two of them.

SCREENINGS
21 June, 20:50 at Odeon 2
26 June, 20:50 at Filmhouse 2

Review by Tom King

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