Dogma (1999) ****



The whole film is make belief (but open to interpretation). But just to see someone take on organized religion and make it seem ridiculous and completely hilarious is not just entertaining beyond belief but also refreshing.
What is the story? Well, there are a lot of plots but it is the sub-plots that make the film really funny. There is a black Jesus, female ice skating God, stripper Muse and much more. Kevin Smith takes these completely ‘out-there’ ideas that we talk about while drinking and does the unthinkable – Make a film out of it.


Bethany (Linda Fiorentino), who works in an abortion clinic is called upon by the Voice of God (Alan Rickman) to stop two exiled angels Loki and Bartleby (Matt Damon and Ben Affleck) from entering a New Jersey church, which will negate all life forms by negating God’s command. All this while an ex-muse turned demon named Azrael (Jason Lee) tries to keep Bethany from accomplishing their goal by keeping GOD (Alanis Morissette) hostage in a human body. Bethany is aided by thirteenth apostle named Rufus (Chris Rock), a literal muse turned stripper (Salma Hayek) and two prophets: Jay and Silent Bob. If you don’t know them already from the numerous ‘View Askewniverse’ films by Kevin Smith (Silent Bob), then do check out them. [Mallrats, Jay and Silent Bob strike back, Chasing Amy, Clerks]

If just reading the plot does not make you want to go watch the film, I will give you some additional reasons as well. The film has a brilliant ensemble cast consisting of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Alan Rickman , Jason Lee, Chris Rock, Salma Hayek among others. All these actors have moved on to completely different directions in their careers and it is a joy to watch them all those years back. The fact that they working on a really funny script, with tight dialogues and bringing highly imaginative characters to life is the best quality of the film. I wouldn’t know my favourite scene from the movie if asked.


While, people have made fun of everything in films (family, relationships, corporations, love etc) the one thing that has always been left out conveniently is religion, because of the sheer power of that it holds. And when you watch this film, you wonder how the director (Kevin Smith) made it alive. In an interview, on being asked about a probable sequel, he informed that though the idea has been in his head but it would have to be something even bigger and now with a family, he wouldn’t take the chance.

Years have passed, and religion is stronger than ever before, making films like these very important. Go watch the film the first chance you get. You might not share Smith’s sense of humour and you might not share his sentiments, but that does not take away from the fact that ‘Dogma’ is a pretty awesome watch. 


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