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The Rite

Updated on April 4, 2013

Does the devil really exist or are we just mentally imaginative?

What an idea of watching The Rite yesterday with only TWO audience in the hall. Can't believe people just don't watch movies anymore...

Right. So, I was comparing The Exorcism of Emily Rose and The Rite. I must say that The Rite isn't as good as The Exorcism of Emily Rose. The thrill, in-depth information and sudden bangs of scenes was not that many. Still, it's a decent film though.

While creating this hub, tagging little elements to it, as soon as I typed Baal and wanted to change it to Ba'al, my whole laptop jammed for a second there. Don't think it has ever happened before unless I play heavy games on it. One thing rushed into my head... PRAY. Did the sign of the cross, prayed for blessings and the pointer was moving again. Oh God. I'm out of my mind... ANYWAY.....

Michael Kovac is a son of an Undertaker who lives with his father in the US. In the beginning of the movie, it is shown that Michael was cleaning the body of a lady with a devil tatoo on one of her legs (left, I think) and he caught a glimpse of the bracelet that she was wearing. As he was stuffing something into her mouth, stitching it, I was expecting the eyes to open or the body itself to erect to a sitting position but nothing of those happen. So, the beginning was a non-horror one.

Before he become a Priest (still a trainee), he saw a terrible accident which left a girl lying in the middle of the road, bleeding to death. He approached her and her last wish was for him to bless her before she dies. In doubt, but Michael, without the faith of God in him, blessed the unfortunate girl, under the massive rain in the dark. After the incident, Father Matthew suggested that Michael should attend the two-months exorcism course in Rome.

I really like the nice, short scenes of how Rome really is. As the movie goes on, Michael continues to show his doubt towards evil possession until, again, he was sent by Father Xavier to learn a thing or two from Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins).

Father Lucas lives in a secluded place with cats crawling from every corner. It was Michael's luck to have met him on that day itself cos Rosaria, a lady who had been possessed for months then, came to visit Father Lucas to continue her sessions of exorcism.

While Rosaria went up the stairs, waiting in a room, Father Lucas took a bag and asked Michael to have something of his possession in it. A one dollar note. So, they both went up and started the session.

Father Lucas asked Rosaria what was in the bag that Michael was holding, stressing the question over and over until she said, One dollar Americano. When asked who the father of the unborn child was, Rosaria answered it was her father. She was raped by her father and the seeds of her father led the devil to possess her. Michael took the note out and was puzzled. He saw the bracelet Rosaria was using and the dead lady with the devil tattoo on her leg, alike. The session continues as Father Lucas tried driving out the devil in her, demanding a name or names.

The spitting of nails, wild accurate guesses of the dollar note, sudden speech in English and memories recalling still had Michael in doubt that it was the devil behind all those. Michael was just not a believer.

One day, they had a house-call exorcism. A boy related his dream to Father Lucas and told him that there was a donkey in his dream threatening to kill him. He continued, the donkey bit him and kicked him as well. The boy's mother showed Father Lucas the horse-shoe bruises imprinted on her son's body to him. Father Lucas asked the boy's mother to fetch him his pillow. He placed his Rosary in the pillow, said a prayer then ripped the pillow off. He dug into it and caught a little frog, which he told the family that it's the devil. The frog was burnt in the kitchen stove (I guess, since it looks like those stove which requires fire to heat it all up). As Father Lucas said his rites, Michael saw the boy staring at him then whispering to the mother.

As they arrived home, Father Lucas entered his home without his bag. Michael opened the bag when he heard croaking sounds. He reached for what was in the bag and saw the same frog. Not to far from where he stood was a pond of the same species of frogs. Flared in frustration and madness, he stormed into the house and told Father Lucas that he had left his bag of magician outside. Michael was deceived by the devil playing tricks on him.

What happened to Rosaria? Well, her condition worsens and was admitted to the hospital. No medication could treat her, so they called Father Lucas in. Michael was with him as well and instead of performing the exorcism, Michael decided to confront Rosaria psychologically and perhaps I should say, atheist-ly. He told Rosaria that the Devil does not exist thus, whatever that is in her does not exist. His words angered the devil. Father Lucas told Michael not to challenge the devil but was ignored. Not too long after that, when we thought Rosaria would be fine, she had a sudden attack again. This time, the devil won the mortal soul and had taken two lives.

Father Lucas was left shattered over his failure to save the girl as well as Michael's believe in the existence of Heaven and Hell. The later part of the movie showed Father Lucas, perhaps having intentions to jump off the edge of a hill-like children's park but he never did. A child approached him, seeing him dressed as a priest, asking him to bless her doll but was slapped to the ground. As he walked away, he did an airy sign of the cross.

There was a scene as well where Michael's room was infested by those little greenish black striped, slimy frog and the bracelet hung on his door.

When Michael was told that his father was admitted to the hospital, intentions of flying back to the US was interrupted due to the volcanic ash (which was true!) in Europe, closing many major airports in the region, disrupting flights. The best thing he could do was to make a phone call. As the nurse/receptionist had him on hold, a familiar voice spoke to Michael. It was his father. After a while, another voice spoke to him over the phone identifying himself as the doctor who witnessed his father's death. Unable to accept the fact cos he was speaking to his father a few seconds before the doctor spoke to him, he hung up.

Right, so I know I left Angelina, the reporter out of the story but hey, the interesting part only comes towards the end of the story.

This moment on, he felt torn in between - not knowing what or who to believe. He meets Angelina and they both went to the boy who had the horse-shoe bruises on the body. Michael asked the lady what did the boy whispered to her. Angelina acts as an interpreter and said the boy said Michael's father will die.

Drawn by the disbelief and shattering faith, Michael and Angelina left for Father Lucas' home and found him sitting outside, in the rain. They brought him inside, had him in his room. Father Lucas then told Michael that he has to find father Xavier to perform an exorcism on him. Father Lucas knows that something is wrong with himself. He had nails coming out of his mouth! Those nails reminds me of the nails that was used to nail Jesus on the cross.

Anyway, so Father Xavier was out of town until Monday, which was like 3 days before he gets back. They returned to father Lucas' home and found the whole place wrecked. All the crucifixes were hung upside down, figurines were broken and they were all over the place.

Michael and Angelina found Father Lucas in the room where he always perform his exorcism. After talking back and forth on faith and the belief with some little drama - drama as in Father Lucas, with his devilish power bending the crucifix of the Rosary. Michael tries to perform the exorcism on Father Lucas. Due to the lack of faith, Father Lucas was able to be in control - pinning Michael against the wall, telling Michael to believe in the Devil. With one hand out still having the grip on the bent crucifix, Michael said he believes in the Devil and its existence, while having that little faith, re-aligning the crucifix back to its original form.

Faith sprang from within, with Michael taking over the situation, chanting The Rite of exorcism, demanding the name of the evil within Father Lucas. The evil within Father Lucas revealed itself as Ba'al. Then after, Father Lucas regained consciousness.

So, I guess the two months was up and Michael bade Father Lucas a farewell.

The end of the movie shows Father Michael entering the confession booth as a woman confesses and the two current priest are still doing their job. Means that they are alive.

So yup, that's the spoilers for you. The movie's inspired by a true story. Many didn't really like how the movie went cos they said it went astray from how it was. Well, the inspiration is there but the movie could be directed in another way. So, please watch it as a movie to get that feeling.

Trivia: Just so you know, that Michael Kovac is Father Gary Thomas, in real life.


An Honest Self Question

Do you believe in the possession of the devil?

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