- 1 hr 35 min
Absolution from 1978 is a British psychological thriller that tells the story of Father Goddard (Richard Burton), a strict and troubled priest who has a dark past. He teaches at St. Anthony's, a Catholic boys' school, where he tries to instill discipline in his young students, often using severe punishment methods. Goddard's worldview is challenged when one of his pupils, Ben (Dominic Guard), confesses to him that he has committed murder. At first, Father Goddard tries to protect Ben by keeping his secret hidden from the police. However, as the investigation progresses, Goddard becomes increasingly obsessed with the situation, and his own guilt and depression start to take over. He continues to abuse his authority over the students, including Ben, who begins to show signs of anger and rebellion. As the tension and drama rise, a new student arrives at St. Anthony's, named Martin (David Bradley). Martin is dark and brooding, and he develops a mysterious connection with Ben, which further complicates Goddard's inner struggle. The film explores themes of morality, sin, redemption, and the psychological effects of religious institutions on their followers. Richard Burton delivers an impressive performance as Father Goddard, conveying the priest's inner turmoil and the weight of his past traumas. Burton's voice and presence provide a sense of authority and gravitas that makes Goddard a believable figure of power and influence. Dominic Guard and David Bradley also shine in their roles as troubled students, with Guard delivering a nuanced and complex portrayal of a young man struggling with guilt and fear. The film's cinematography is impressive, with many scenes taking place in dark and shadowy interiors, which help to create a sense of tension and claustrophobia. The school's chapel, where many crucial scenes occur, is a striking contrast of light and shadow, with intricate stained glass windows that add to the film's visual appeal. The score, composed by progressive rock band Arson, gives the film a haunting and foreboding atmosphere, with electronic sounds and dissonant tones that match the film's themes of moral ambiguity and psychological distress. The soundtrack also includes a beautiful and melancholic song, "Too Late for Tears," which plays over the film's closing credits and sums up the characters' regrets and missed opportunities. Overall, Absolution is a dark and suspenseful movie that will appeal to fans of psychological thrillers and British cinema. It is not a traditional horror film but contains elements of suspense and psychological horror that make it a compelling watch. It is a film that explores the themes of morality and guilt with a deft touch, relying on its well-written characters and skilled actors to bring its message to life.