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Romans: Directed by Ludwig Shammasian, Paul Shammasian. With Orlando Bloom, Janet Montgomery, Charlie Creed-Miles, Anne Reid. An adult victim of childhood sexual abuse confronts the horrors of his past.

“u0026quot;Be not carried away to revenge and retaliation (Romans, 12,V 19) by evil which is committed against you, but overcome the evil by the good which you show to your enemy (V20), put to shame by your noble spirit, ceases to act malignantly against you . . . .u0026quot; Paulu003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eRetaliation, starring a surprisingly competent Orlando Bloom as Malky, is about a demolition worker trying to demolish the memory of abuse by a priest when Malky was 12. The plot is simple, a thriller at the least, encouraging the audience to guess whether he will exorcise his demon or take Christu0026#39;s advice (see above).u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe film focuses almost exclusively on Malky, whose growing torture about the abuse bleeds out into everything he encounters, be it his Mum (Anne Reed), his best friend, Jo (Alex Ferns), or, most lamentably, girlfriend Emma (Janet Montgomery). His rage is palpable, and because he shares its reason with no one, it is quietly volcanic.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAt times the metaphors (cross, stigmata, and glasses, just for starters) are heavy; yet Bloom so effectively carries their weight, they serve as effectively as could be expected without distracting. The text from Paul helps audiences to understand the victimu0026#39;s dilemma as well as answer how Malky can appease the vengeance.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eBloom is a revelation-abandoning for the moment his pretty boy roles-by turning in a memorable performance recently as an army captain in The Outpost, and in this role underplaying and overplaying grief and anger without relying on the charms that made him a global star.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eFor those who were brought up Catholic, stories of priestly abuse haunt even more when they are true. My attempted abuse by a priest when I was an undergraduate stays with me as I reconcile the disparity between piety and pederasty, its prevalence and its persistence. Retaliation will prevail as one of the best takes on religious perfidy.”


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