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Stigmata (1999)
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Review Date: September 11, 1999
Director: Rupert Wainwright
Writer: Tom Lazarus, Rick Ramage
Producers: Frank Mancuso Jr.
Actors:
Patricia Arquette as Frankie
Gabriel Byrne as Andrew
Jonathan Pryce as Cardinal
Plot:
Mary Jane Nobody gets inflicted by the stigmata, a condition in which a person is physically impaled like Jesus was on the cross. Being an atheist, she doesn't understand why this is happening to her, and neither does the brooding priest/scientist who comes from the Vatican to investigate the supernatural event.
Critique:
The answer to the question from above is that you get STIGMATA, a film which relies mostly on style and mood, and leaves the story element far away in the backseat. I personally do enjoy films with a lot of stylish camera tricks, but this one went a little overboard, with an overabundance of shots featuring water dripping down, tight close-ups, slow motion scenes, quick edits and loud music. This wouldn't have been too bad if the story had enough meat to straddle my interest, but unfortunately, I was bored after the first hour of watching Patricia Arquette get bloodied over and over again, without much else going on. Redundancy, you have a name and it is Stigmata! This film also features a drab resolution, which fortunately for me, I could have cared less about at that time (And were those the worst looking fake flames you have ever seen in the last scene?? Yikes!). One thing's for sure, I ain't much into religion, but I can't imagine anyone from the church being too much of a happy camper after seeing this flick.

On the positive tip, I sure did enjoy the soundtrack which proved that Smashing Pumkin Billy Corgan could sure do a great Trent Reznor impression, and the performance by Patricia Arquette, which was excellent as a cute, hip, young chick who anyone, at least in our generation, could relate to. And how about all of her funky getups and apartment fillers? Very kewl! Byrne was okay as the Jason Miller part from the original EXORCIST, but did they have to toss in a cheesy romance? Not my bag. Anyway, all in all, this film might satisfy some folks who love the MTV-style movies with little plot development despite a lot of movement, and Patricia Arquette fans, but thriller fans, lovers of the supernatural genre, will not find anything to get excited about in this bombastic retread. And despite not appreciating the film's story line, I do mark it higher than usual, because I personally do like Patricia Arquette and enjoyed some of its stylish intent. Unfortunately, the director went too far in this area, believing himself to be directing an action/adventure film instead of a taut thriller.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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