First Reformed

That’s the name of the film we watched the other night. First Reformed was written and directed by Paul Schrader who also wrote Taxi Driver. And Mr. Cohab, who’s seen Taxi Driver a number of times, testifies to its theme being similar to that in First Reformed.

It’s about a priest tending to his small congregation in a half forgotten ”tourist church”. One day, one of his parishioners approaches him, asking him to talk to her husband who is struggling with feelings of dark despair. The priest reluctantly agrees to a meeting, which triggers the surfacing of  deep problems and personal doubts of the priest himself.

The narrative is very slow, most certainly in order to quietly lull the viewer into the sad and desperate world of Reverend Ernst Toller. And I gather it’s no coincidence that the light in the religious man’s darkness is a pregnant woman called Mary…

Once I’d had a chance to ponder the ending, I came to the conclusion that I quite liked the film. It made me sad, true, but it also offered some ray of hope in the good will of all wo/-men.