TIFF 2019: Our Review of ‘Corpus Christi’

TIFF 2019: Our Review of ‘Corpus Christi’

To what extent are faith and religion truly synonymous? This is a wildly blasphemous question I asked myself during Jan Komasa’s Corpus Christi, a film in which a recently paroled juvenile offender named Daniel (Bartoz Bielenia) illegitimately poses as a priest in a small Polish town reeling from loss and tragedy. As Daniel grows further entwined in the town’s affairs, and as he continues to unravel the mystery of what really occurred long ago, the core of his faith will be tested like it has never been before.

Generally speaking, films with strong performances tend to play well at film festivals. Here is no exception, as those who champion this film will likely start with the truly embodied performance from Bartoz Bielenia. He is truly present within the frame throughout the course of the film, and whenever he is slated to preach the film becomes charged with energy.  Furthermore, the cinematography is gorgeous. Corpus Christi has a cohesive structure to it, albeit one predicated on a lie.

Yet, Komasa could probably do with a tighter cut. Again, this is already an uncomfortable film as it ostensibly built upon a lie. Some scenes seem to drag, and some slight edits would probably help the audience buy more into the diegesis. Likewise, the film’s ultimate endpoint, is nowhere near as strong as its penultimate one. Corpus Christi is a solid film, with a lot to recommend and some noticeable rough edges.

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Thomas Wishloff is currently an MA student at York University. He is new to the Toronto Film Scene, but has periodically written and podcasted for several now defunct ventures, and has probably commented on a forum with you at some point. The ex-Edmontonian has been known to enjoy a good board game, and claims to know the secret to the best popcorn in the world.
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