Movie Review: Philomena

Two different people comes together in life for a purpose. When the difference is akin to chalk to cheese, we can expect a lot of drama and comedy. Hence, this approach is a commonly used one in the movies. Every year, there are movies of two people who can't stand each other taking part in a journey. Philomena is also based on a similar premise. The movie succeeds in giving you a lot of smiles and ends up tugging your heart because of the phenomenal actress called Judi Dench and a surprising performance by Steve Coogan.

Stephen Frears tells the anguish of a mother who goes in search of her son whom she had given up for adoption. He bases his movie on the book "The Lost Child of Philomena Lee" by Martin Sixsmith. Philomena Lee is played by Judi Dench while Steve Coogan plays Martin Sixsmith. Both of them are at a crossroads in life. Philomena constantly wonders what happened to the baby she had forced to give up for adoption. She was an unwed mother, and her family had left in an Abbey during her pregnancy. The sisters at the Abbey had given her son for adoption. Now that she wants to find out, the Abbey is not cooperating in her search. Martin has just lost his job and is trying desperately to overcome the depression. The two of them embark on this quest.

Martin and Philomena are different people. Martin is an atheist while Philomena believes in God. Martin has suppressed hatred while Philomena has nothing against the world. The situation is weird as we expect Philomena to be angry because she is the wronged woman. Philomena is grateful for all the niceties of life while Martin is rude. Philomena is full of wonder when she finally ventures out of her small world with Martin. She is naive. But her naivety is beautifully portrayed by Judi Dench. Judi Dench, with her performance, forces us to look at things we take for granted in a new perspective. The performance also raises questions. How can one be forgiving? Why isn't there any rage? Steve Coogan's Martin learns a lot from Philomena. At the end of the movie, he is at a place that holds more peace than when he started. Steve Coogan, who also wrote the screenplay, delivers a performance that hooks us as the movie progresses. He plays the bumbling Englishman with a characteristic sense of humor initially and later turns serious. Steve Coogan has sprinkled the right amount of humor in his performance thereby not making it heavy duty.

Watch it for Judi Dench.

Language: English

Genre: Drama

Rating: ****



  1. I feel like watching this movie from your review, atleast for the performances.

    1. Have fun. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


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