Patrick Cassidy’s solemnity brings out the best and worst in ‘Calvary’

- Advertisement -



patrick cassidy calvary score review

Calvary
Patrick Cassidy
Varese Sarabande Records

“You have to detach yourself.” That’s the advice Brendan Gleeson’s scruffy pillar of a priest gives to a fellow clergyman in Calvary, the second film from John Michael McDonagh, who’s quickly and quietly expanding beyond his notoriety as “Martin McDonagh’s brother.” Calvary dumps a truckload of guilt on the doorstep of Father James and then sits back and watches him squirm at the sight. There’s little sense in a man, once abused by the clergy as a child, executing one of the church’s blameless — and Father James is told as much by his faceless accuser in Calvary‘s opening minutes. Good luck with that whole detachment thing.

Those outside of Ireland’s Classical charts won’t recognize Patrick Cassidy’s name, but his under-the-radar status (and slim filmography) is in step with an anonymous composition style. Across the pond, Cassidy’s cantata Children of Lir sat atop the charts for a full year, but American audiences who’ve endured Ridley Scott’s 2001 misfire Hannibal know him best for his Dante Alighieri aria “Vide cor meum.” The bounding repetition of its vocals are the sole sign of a pop structure in his faux operetta as it’s but another exemplar of Cassidy steeping himself in old stylizations.

With an obligatory deference to ancient place and Catholic praxis, Calvary sounds like the composer tiptoeing into modern music. The lush, full-throated vocal cues in his classical work are no less diminished here, but their appearances — each one of them on the heels of Calvary‘s opening death threat — become ironic in their beauty and grandeur. “Calvary Theme” rustles awake, its woodwinds and velvety strings soothing into a passable Edvard Grieg imitation. “Memories Fade” sees Aya Peard echo this leitmotif, which gains a harp in the calmer “The Beach” and stews in “Don’t Change the Subject’s” prickly fragility. “Third Act Revelation” again draws from Peard’s ethereal vocals like a returning call home, more rustic than sterile and chaste. Echoing choruses through imagined cathedrals might make for passable asceticism, but Cassidy humbles his compositions with deconstruction and elongation. Father James’ church isn’t Notre Dame, and it isn’t trying to be.

McDonagh isn’t interested in tarnishing the church’s name so much as taking note of its existing smudges and with measured objectivity. Cassidy follows suit. The tragically Alicia Keys-less “Your Church is on Fire” features a prominent synth licking the heels of rolling low strings, with violent slaps clashing against the overarching austerity. “Ben Bulben” distills beauty from dread with Peard’s ghostly voice emerging from a left-hand piano’s gloomy autonomy, but it’s the stirring two-parter “The Beattitudes” that rustles awake from some ancient slumber with Afro Celt Sound System’s Iarla Ó Lionáird. Throughout Calvary, Cassidy pushes satisfied, wavering melodies — see “Why Am I Here” for the mournful version of this, “Forgiveness” for the tender — but none are more indifferent than the “Beattitude’s” bookends, which float above table mountains, ugly confrontation, and the voices sandwiched in between.

Cassidy’s scant leitmotifs make for a muddled experience on even a third or fourth listen, but Calvary‘s hazy uniformity finds definition in its instrumental changes. His sound design elements aren’t criticisms of ancient tongues or classical arrangements, just as Calvary is interested in the spiritual reckoning of one man rather than his parish. But beginning and ending with the same male-driven vocals centers that focus while pushing out a women-centered corpus. As a film, Calvary‘s insistence on reducing its women to pity cases and crutches for forgiveness is disappointing, and Father James’ spiritual journey is a road paved with the detritus of the abused and self-abusing women in his life. Shame Cassidy’s solemnity adds to the body count.

Sharing is caring!





10 Different Types of Financial Aid
Top 10 Richest American Idols
V-Moda Crossfade Wireless
The 5 Most Expensive Wireless Headphones: Ultimate Auditory Clarity
Business man watching business go bankrupt
25 Iconic Companies that Filed for Bankruptcy
Book genres of fiction and nonfiction
22 Different Types of Books (Genres and Non-Fiction Options)
The cast of Married...With Children
25 Little-Known Facts about Married…With Children TV Show
Ice Cube at Straight Outta L.A. at Tribeca Film Festival in 2010
10 Best Ice Cube Movies When You Want to Watch Ice Cube
Luke Evans at the Los Angeles premiere of Beauty And The Beast held at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood
10 Best Luke Evans Movies (He did that?)
A lettuce head
18 Different Types of Lettuce – Can You Guess Them All?
whiskey with ice
6 Types of Whiskey – Do You Know Them?
50 Different Types of Nectarines
10 Different Types of Nut Butter
Cars lined up on the road
26 Types of Cars You Can Choose From for Your Ride
Man Riding Bicycle
11 Types of Bicycles – Do You Know Them All?
16 of the Best Online Auto Parts Stores
28 of the Best Online Bicycle Stores
15 Different Types of Goggles
13 Different Types of Dumbbells
15 Awesome Alternatives to Skateboards (Plus Interesting Facts)
Baseball player hitting ball
10 Types of Baseball Bats that Rip the Leather Off the Ball
man holding smartphone with vintage case
11 Types of Cell Phone Cases and Covers to Protect Your Expensive Smartphone
Black and Red Tablet Covers
8 Types of Tablet Cases for Kids, Protection, and Convenience
Camera, lenses and other photography equipments.
45 of the Best Online Photography and Camera Stores
9 Different Types of Website Hosting
>