Oct 21, 2019 in Film Review

“Luther” is a brilliant film which managed to bring to the viewers all the complexity and discrepancy of the religious situation in Europe at the beginning of the XVI century: domination of church, implicit authority of Roman Popes on territories of the Western Europe, ignorance of usual laymen which blindly follow indications of church figures. In fact the Church is there to bring God’s words and wishes to people, though it forgets its initial assignment and gets more and more corrupted.

The Catholic Church started selling indulgences, which turned into some kind of tax paying for Christians. As a theoretical background for its right on indulgences, the church stated that Jesus Christ's huge merits before God formed an inexhaustible stock of divine good fortune which can be distributed only to the worthy ones (that is those who donated large sums of money to the Church).

The film is based on real facts of the rebel against existing domination of Church over all spheres of life in society and its insatiable greed for power and money. In 1514 - 1516 The Pope Leo X under a pretext of conducting war with Turks imposed the contribution of paying indulgences almost in all Europe. The commerce of selling indulgences caused great hue and cry of humanists and served as the main reason for German Reformation. In the famous “95 Theses” Luther approved that papal indulgences cannot forgive a sin or relieve from the Divine penalty.

The film is not only about the religion and its immense influence on society. It is a truly inspirational life-story of a well-known German monk Martin Luther, the founder of Protestant movement and 'originator' of one of the most common and largest in number of followers of Protestant branches Lutheranism.

It might seem that there is nothing more boring than the life of monk. But Luther is not one of those blindly serving God, recklessly following the Roman church canons. Here you can see everything: internal doubts, and search of both himself and the God, the strength of spirit, fear and disappointment, huge work on self-improvement, love to the woman, and the main thing - work, daily laborious work which will be estimated by grateful descendants and contemporaries.

Authors did not make even slightest changes to Luther’s life story, presenting us almost literal biography. Though it is not just a simple layout of biographical facts, it is more about the power of man’s spirit, striving to change the world and fight for justice. It is a good example of a screen version of a rare historical case of a victory of the person above system.

The cast in this film is perfect. Perhaps, Joseph Fiennes, who plays the role of Martin Luther, lacks a bit of charisma, adherent to Luther which made Saxon people implicitly follow him. Although, on the whole, Fiennes managed to show us searching, fair, suffering and very passionate person. However at times the person of Martin is a bit overidealised, making him too positive, which, of course, could not be the truth in real life (especially at the later period of Luther’s life). Ambiguity in general is peculiar to people of such scale.

In my opinion, this film is addressed absolutely to any spectator (which is confirmed by the rating of МРАА): even if you would not get emotional and aesthetic pleasure, you will definitely expand your outlook. Anyway, after watching “Luther”, I rushed to look for the biography and the works of Martin Luther. My rating is, undoubtedly, 5 out of 5.

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