Newest Review: ... visions were occurring. Gabriel Byrne plays Father Kiernan and his character tries to help Frankie with her ordeal although he is scor... more
Do you believe?!!
Member Name: charlie1979
Date: 11/01/09, updated on 10/02/09 (288 review reads)
Advantages: Great plot and special effects, gripping
Disadvantages: May be a bit gorey and jumpy for some!
Stigmata traditionally takes the form of the five wounds that Jesus had inflicted upon him during his crucifixion. These wounds typically are through the hands and feet where Jesus was nailed to the cross and marks on the forehead from the thorny crown. Stigmatics may display just one or al of these wounds and is a highly debatable topic.
The film Stigmata was released in 1999 and directed by Rupert Wainwright. I can't believe this film is now ten years old but it is one of my all time favourites and I decided to blow the dust off it and watch it again on cold Sunday as an excuse to stay in the warm!
This film follows the story of Frankie (Patricia Arquette), an atheist hairdresser. Frankie receives a rosary from her mother as a gift from her holiday in Brazil. Unknown to Frankie and her mother this rosary once belonged to a Father who was ex-communicated from the church and suffered from stigmata.
As soon as Frankie receives the rosary strange things begin to happen to her. Her friends are worried about her and think her sickness is down to the possibility of her being pregnant! Frankie soon starts to show signs of the stigmata which draws the attention of Father Andrew (Gabriel Byrne) who is a former scientist. He investigates all stigmata and miracle claims and aims to provide a scientific explanation for events.
Father Andrew soon gets to the cause of her stigmata and discovers that the rosary belonged to a Father who discovered a lost gospel which challenged the foundations of Catholicism and this was the reason for his ex-communication. Cardinal Daniel Houseman (Jonathan Price) tries to get Frankie silenced, causing her and Father Andrew to go on the run.
Time is running out for Frankie as her stigmata get worse and her condition becomes life threatening. Will they manage to cure her in time before her inflictions take her life?
Whilst the stigmata in themselves are a highly controversial subject I liked the fact that this film chose a complete non believer as the subject for the stigmata. Sufferers of the stigmata tend to be extremely religious but if God treats us al as equals then why should only a 'believer' suffer from stigmata?!
Te film has a somewhat Exorcist feel about it as basically the character Frankie is being possessed by an unknown form. The suffering from the stigmata is quite dramatic and gruesome with plenty of blood and screaming so the film may not be to every ones taste! Also it may be a bit too controversial for some Catholics to watch. I am not highly religious myself but I do not believe that the film portrays religion in a negative way. I have watched a few religion based films and this is by far the best if the most controversial that I have seen.
Many scenes in the film are similar to that in the Exorcist such as Frankie floating and rising above her bed during the possession and when she speaks in a tongue that is not hers. During all the stigmata and possession scenes though you are really drawn into the film and her suffering. The directing is brilliant and on most occasions when the stigmata happen they are so sudden and brutal they make you jump out of your skin!
The special effects and scenery are brilliant and really add to the whole viewing experience. This is a thought provoking film that keeps you hooked from the start right through to the end. The suspense is almost unbearable towards the end of the film when you are trying to piece together the whole story and predict the ending!
This is one of my favourite movies of all time and one that I can watch over and over again. A real classic!
Summary: One of my all time favourite films.