(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I BOTH cope AND hope to….well, you know the rest 😉)
You are BOTH the sincere AND the hurt back.
You are BOTH the agree AND the offend.
Without balancing BOTH, you got the “crack.”
“Fix” the “false” by the truth that BOTH you blend.
I am BOTH the pull AND the push away.
I am BOTH the lover AND the unloved.
I balance BOTH ’cause I’m just “real” that way.
One day, I will be the BOTH of Beloved.
“BOTH The Father AND The Son are The One,”
says God and Jesus. “One day, BOTH will reign.
Meanwhile, be our BOTH for the everyone.
It won’t be easy but do you want ‘plain?'”
We are talking about how we are “growth?”
Yes, we are, AND it’s just balancing BOTH.
(a “you can’t change your passion” film review by Timothy J. Verret)
It just hurts me deeply to need to write a film review and give away a shocking ending at the same time. I don’t want to give it away, but I don’t know any other way to write a film review of THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES. Maybe I should have called it a “spoiler alert” film review instead. Whatever the case, PLEASE know that you need not read any further if you don’t want the shocking ending of this film given away to you. That said, I do hope you will read further because “I can’t change my passion.”
This is a film about a retired criminal investigator Benjamín Espósito (Ricardo Darín) who decides to write a novel in which he revisits a rape and murder case that was never solved. He reaches out to a former colleague, Judge Irene Menéndez Hastings (Soledad Villamil), to help him put all the pieces together. His memories unfold for us as the viewer, and we are taken through a thrill-a-minute journey into what it means to have a passion that you can’t change and a motivation to understand why that is so. Benjamin is gentle and fierce (BOTH) and he’s driven and vulnerable (BOTH). I know that the relationship between Benjamin and Irene (BOTH) means much in this film, but what I found so “much” is the (BOTH) relationship between Benjamin and the husband, Ricardo Morales, of the raped and murdered Liliana Coloto. They have a relationship that is mutually determined for justice in this horrible case. While Benjamin as the investigator of the crime must stay legalistic, Ricardo must “stay” where true justice is concerned. This all leads to that shocking ending I mentioned at the start of this review.
Here goes the “spoiler alert:” At the end of the film, we find out why this rape and murder case remained unsolved. Ricardo knew that any legalistic activity to “put to sleep by lethal injection” Isidoro Gomez (Javier Godino), the rapist and murderer of Liliana, would be no true justice. We are shown through Benjamin’s memory that Ricardo actually kidnapped, shot and killed Isidoro, but this memory is NOT true justice. Benjamin finds out that his memory was incorrect when he starts piecing together the words of the conversations he had with Ricardo. This leads Benjamin to go to Ricardo’s home and discover what has been Ricardo’s “true justice.” The truth of a faulty memory is that Ricardo did kidnap Isidoro but for 25 years, he has kept him in a prison in a shed in the back of his residence. When Benjamin sneaks up on the property, he sees Ricardo going to this shed and follows him. Ricardo goes to the shed to feed his prisoner, Isidoro, and when Isidoro notices Benjamin, he drops his plate from the shock of seeing another soul that he has not seen in 25 years. Ricardo notices Benjamin but does not lift his head up (shame?). Isidoro comes to the bars to meet Benjamin, and then he drops a line that reached me in the deepest recesses of my struggles with suffering and abandonment. Isidoro says to Benjamin about Ricardo: “Please tell him to talk to me.” We know then and there that for 25 years, Ricardo has not spoken a word to Isidoro, not even a “hello.” Ricardo has simply kept his prisoner alive and that’s it! Talk about suffering and abandonment, right? 😪
I never seem to shy away from making a connection between human suffering and nonhuman animal suffering (BOTH). If I’m wrong to make that connection, then I’m wrong….but I connect anyway. Having Ricardo keep Isidoro in a prison without communicating one word to him makes me connect nonhuman farm animals on factory farms. Never a word is spoken to these nonhuman farm animals on factory farms except maybe, “take that!” or “move!” or “stupid animal!” The suffering and abandonment that these nonhuman farm animals must feel on factory farms is not something that I can even imagine….though I typically do. The consistent and constant fear that they must experience from inhumane humans who are causing them so much suffering and abandonment. The putrid and pungent smell of these nonhuman animals’ fear must only mirror the putrid and pungent smell of the factory farm where they are forced to lie in their own waste. How in God’s Name of Love can we “name” these nonhuman farm animals as so unloving, so wasteful, so unseen, so unworthy? How can we allow them to feel so much suffering and abandonment? Why have we allowed them to be Isidoro? Can’t we PLEASE “change our passion” to stop causing nonhuman farm animals so much pain? Or will we not lift our heads up like Ricardo (shame?).
THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2009. Looking over the other nominees, I see that Germany’s WHITE RIBBON was in the same category. I have seen WHITE RIBBON and it really is hard to imagine that any film would win over that one but, if there is one to win over it, it would be this film. BOTH films are actually quite similar, in that they are devastatingly brutal and probing as to seeking to understand how humans hurt one another in ways that are extremely inhumane. And, yes, I am talking about how devastatingly brutal and probing it is how humans hurt nonhuman animals in ways that are extremely inhumane. BOTH, once again, as it always seems to be for me.😉
And speaking of “once again,” it seems I did not write a review of this film once again that can be labelled as a “standard, textbook” film review. I usually write about mesmerizing performances by the actors and yet I didn’t tackle that here, though the performances in this film by all the actors were downright mesmerizing. Nor did I write about exceptional directing or a startling screenplay, though BOTH for this film were indeed just that. I write these film reviews because I am searching for understanding that only on the screen can there indeed be a “bleed” into my life off the screen. I want to understand what a film can teach me, not what I can necessarily teach another by writing a “paint-by-numbers” film review. I look for the connection of what a film speaks to me that I must speak forward from my own truth, even if no one understands my own “speaking-forward” truth. I’m not here to dictate through these film reviews what the journey of another should be. I’m only here to dictate my own journey that these film reviews afford me, and I can only pray that whoever is a witness to my journey of writing these film reviews will see their own journey in the process.
If you didn’t mind my “spoiler alert” for this film review, THANK YOU! And if you honestly believe “I can’t change my passion” to be grateful to you about that, just look into “the secret of my eyes.” 🙄
(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in NOT BEING THOUGHT OF AS BORING this daily leavened [‘Intensify Jesus!’] bread.”)
You are looking for who you are in things,
in what you do, in how you carry on.
Your identity does not have these strings
of attachment. It’s detached from your brawn.
My identity is “intensity.”
I’m always needing to “up the ante.”
If things are humdrum, my propensity
is identity as “vigilante.”
“Find your identity in My ‘Made-Peace,'”
says Jesus. “Intensity will ‘chaos’ you.
Breathe and accept that you’re My masterpiece.
You can’t be boring! Only can ‘breakthrough!'”
“Intensify Jesus,” else vanity:
Intensity of His Identity.
(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in not down here to earn but Look Up There to discern and allow Jesus to awaken my Spirit this daily leavened bread.”)
The hole in you no one down here to fill.
The ache in you no one down here to ease.
“He Is Risen” is The Reason you’re “real.”
What you do with that “real” is God you please.
If they would just understand my “down here.”
They can’t ’cause they’re “down here” the same as me.
“He Is Risen” is The Reason I’m “clear.”
I’m “clear” that without Jesus, I’m ennui.
“It’s not so much down here you’re in despair,”
says Jesus, “as it is that you are lost.
Look Up There! You might flee but I’m Right There
to awaken Spirit when you’re ‘exhaust.'”
It’s always to The Cross that we return.
Down here, earn. Look Up There for the discern.
(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in properly praying to God through Jesus Christ for prosper, hope, and future this daily leavened [Jesus Prays!] bread.”)
Without prayers, you can do nothing anoint.
Something you can do is give it to God.
“But if I don’t get it done, what’s the point?”
The point is Jesus for His Staff and Rod.
Without prayers, I got no chance at prosper,
at hope, at future, only chance at harm.
“But can’t I figure it all out proper?”
No, I can’t! Proper prayers are All God’s Charm.
“Without prayers, I can do nothing for you,”
prays Jesus. “Let Me pray for you to Dad,
whereby Holy Spirit be your ‘all through.’
Through Me to God, prayers got no chance at sad.”
Everything we will “do through” is for “you.”
At nothing at all, look what prayers can do!
(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in giving in to ‘Him’ and not giving up today, this daily leavened [Jesus is Highs and Him-Up!] bread.”)
You feel like giving up. Yes, I relate.
You feel like closing shop. Yes, I’m “for sale.”
How ’bout you and I giving in to “Great.”
“Great” are we both when it’s God’s Love we scale.
I feel like giving up. Yes, you agree.
I feel like going away. Yes, you “leave.”
How ’bout me and you giving in to “He.”
“He” is Jesus, we “better to believe.”
“You’re weary. You’re burdened. I’m ALL your Rest,”
says Jesus. “Giving in to ‘Him’ is Rise.
Giving up on ‘Him’ is fall for the stressed.
I’m gentle and humble in heart. I’m ‘Highs!'”
We are our best served when we are “Him-Up.”
“Him” is our giving in, not giving up.
(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in NOW how I ‘pull through’ by taking every ‘miscall’ from the enemy of my mind and ‘calling’ it obedient to Jesus Christ this daily leavened [Jesus Pulls Through!] bread.”)
You won’t get the thoughts from others down here.
Try as they might, their thoughts won’t satisfy.
The thoughts that God has for you are endear:
“Dear you, always My Love solidify.”
The thoughts I have for me are, “NOT enough,
unloved, unseen, NOT well thought of at all.”
The thoughts that God has for me are, “NOT rough
with you. My call for you was NOT ‘miscall.'”
“I know the thoughts My Father has for you,”
thinks Jesus. “Thoughts to prosper you today.
You can’t ‘past’ or ‘future’ thoughts of ‘pull through.’
Only NOW is how you will ‘pray a way.'”
“NOTHING separates Love I have for you,”
thinks God. “Love is the thoughts I have for you.”
(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in FOREVER ABOVE where my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is Up on That Cross to heal me from my loneliness and lack of love this daily leavened [Look Up at Jesus!] bread.”)
There are 3 L’s that “lose” you every time:
Loneliness and lack of love are your “loss.”
You can “win” this everlasting lifetime
when you look Up at Him Up on That Cross.
Those 3 L’s are ’cause I’m prone to withdraw.
One more hurt and I’m prone to disappear.
There are 3 L’s I’m sure of: Love is Law,
lack is last, and lonely is landing gear.
“Don’t think for a lifetime I’m your 3 L’s,”
says Jesus. “Loneliness and lack of love
are NOT in my vocabulary, spells
out just 3 words: ‘I’M FOREVER ABOVE!'”
To That Cross with me for the dispose of
the 3 L’s: Loneliness and lack of love.
(God’s Sonnet by Timothy J. Verret; “it’s how I cope to hope in ‘HE’S RISEN!!!!’ ALWAYS this daily leavened bread and ALL the days of my little ‘set-free’ leavened life.”)
You don’t get to rise without “HE’S RISEN!!!!”
You don’t get to fall without “ascended.”
Your today is ’cause Jesus was imprison,
innocent, why you are not ended.
I don’t get to rise without “HE’S RISEN!!!!”
I don’t get to decrease without “increase.”
My today is possibly my prison
if I don’t look Up to Christ, my Peace.
‘Today is THE happiest day for Me!!!!”
shouts Jesus. “And YOUR happiest day, too!
‘Give us this day’ is for when you for He
rejoice for what for you for Me BRAND-NEW!!!!”
b, c, d, e, f, g? No! A-risen!
There’s no alphabet without “HE’S RISEN!!!!”
(a “confess and resign” film review by Timothy J. Verret)
In my most humbled and “confessed” opinion, the play, DOUBT (2004), by John Patrick Shanley, is the best American play of the 21st century. I “resign” myself to review the film made in 2008 of the same title. As you can see, only 4 years elapsed from the writing of this play to the directing of this film. This is because DOUBT is a story that had to be desperately spread far and wide as only the cinema could do. The story is one that creates not only doubts about a priest’s molestation of a black boy but also doubts about our own faith. Yes, that is a far-and-wide dilemma.
DOUBT is something of a miracle, ironically enough, of a play-turned-into-a-film, in that it provides hardly any answers to the many questions it poses. I just love it when a play or film or any form of entertainment doesn’t “spoon feed” the observer. The observer is smart enough to answer all these deeper-soul questions him- or herself and if he or she is not able to answer them, oh well, so be it. There are 4 characters central to the story: Sister Aloysius, Father Flynn, Sister James, and Mrs. Miller. The film also has 4 actors, respectively, at the top of their game: Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis. If I tell you these 4 actors set off fireworks more colorful and more explosive than the 4th (haha!) of July, that would be a huge understatement. And what I also love about this film is that the story is basic, i.e., a priest is suspected of child molestation and a sister (or two) tries to get to the bottom of it. What is not basic AT ALL about DOUBT is that the characters’ emotions are complex and colorful, the eventual exploration and dissection of the same is devastating, and not one of the 4 characters is unaltered, for the better or for the worse, by the film’s end. Did the priest molest the child a sister (or two) suspected? Hell if I know….and glad as hell that I don’t!
Why are most of the best characters in plays and films women characters? I ask this because I am a man, and yet I desire to act these female characters because the emotions are all there in black and white (for a nun) and yet the colors are incredibly intense! I tend to buck the system of status quo in my artistry and, in this case, I have done acting monologues of Sister Aloysius because they were just too darn juicy to pass up as an actor. It would stand to reason that I would want to do a monologue of Father Flynn and while his role is also pretty juicy, it just doesn’t have the sweetness (nor the sour, in this case) of Sister Aloysuis. I’m gonna get pretty bold here and allow you to view an acting monologue of Sister Aloysuis I did that I filmed (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPJ2bO19AHg). You can judge for yourself why that particular monologue was just way too good (and juicy) for me to pass up as a male actor. Whatever you do or judge, please do NOT compare this monologue to the one Meryl Streep did in the film. I will most definitely “fall short of the glory” (Romans 3:23) of Meryl Streep!😉
Thank God the playwright Shanley adapted the film’s screenplay from his play. I cannot imagine his play in the hands of a different screenwriter. The lines in this play/film are some of the best lines I have ever encountered in any kind of artistry. They put my own writing to shame and make me seriously doubt (haha) if I’m even a “decent” writer. I could not possibly list them all in this review but because this play/film is a “cat and mouse” parable, I can’t get way without the scene where a nun has a cat in her hands who killed a mouse, and she says to Sister Aloysuis and Sister James, “it takes a cat.” Sister Aloysuis couldn’t let that nun get away with that line without her saying, “yes….it does.” The black (and white) cat IS Sister Aloysuis.🐱👤 The black (and white) mouse IS Father Flynn 🐭
Once again, I am NOT reviewing this film for the textbook film review the reader might typically encounter. I don’t want to “spoon feed” you in that regard, because I hope you will read the play and/or watch the film yourself and draw your own conclusions. What I attempted to do here was to express that DOUBT is the best American play of the 21st century, the film based off the play is the best film when it comes to providing no easy (if any) answers, and to express my usual non-status quo way of living (and acting). I wanted to let the reader know with this review that boxed-in corners are for boxing rings, not for living (and acting). And speaking of “corners” and “boxing rings,” this is actually the perfect analogy for this play/film, because the 4 characters are all in their respectable corners in a boxing ring and have to leave these corners to come out fighting. And fighting is exactly what they do! They “beat each other up” with their suspicions, fabrications, and, yes, doubts! They tear each other up and are forever altered in the “fight” for their dignity, respect, and pursuit of all things true. It’s most sad that in the pursuit of living, we don’t always get the truth, but we are guaranteed the doubts. It’s what we do with these doubts that will forever alter us, for the better or for the worse. BOTH the play AND the film of DOUBT have forever altered me as BOTH a human AND an actor for the better, and I “confess and resign” myself to just that.