Review: My Scientology Movie – intriguing, slow-paced Theroux documentary

Walking into the cinema to watch ‘My Scientology Movie’ you can’t help but look back on how much Louis Theroux has influenced people and their view of the world; the same could be said for the leader of Scientology David Miscavige. As this documentary continues you learn more about this leading light of this religion, whose portrayal is given the Hollywood treatment by Theroux and his team. It is clear from the word go that Louis has not lost any of his legendary wit. His subtle digs at the very few of the only actual scientologists he encounters while attempting to investigate add a much-needed light touch to the film. 

   A superb soundtrack by Dan Jones adds an extra layer of dramatics that you don’t experience during Theroux’s usual TV exploits, as well as some good camera work from Will Pugh. The main area in which this the movie falters is the way in which it is paced. Whenever the crew aren’t experiencing Scientology harassment first hand or creating their staged scenes the time is filled with interviews that tend to drag. However, the overwhelming sense of intrigue throughout moves aside these minor pacing issues. It is clear why this has taken over a decade to reach theatres, with its subjects of abuse and harassment proving damning to the church and its senior management. 

   As incriminating as the film is, using his trademark interviewing technique Louis shows us that even though some members leave the church it doesn’t mean they are devoid of the acts they performed while still a part of the organisation – something that audiences may have not considered. All in all, although sometimes slow moving, Louis Theroux’s big screen foray contains all of his charm and pathos that audiences have become so accustomed to over the years, and this makes it highly enjoyable. 

James Berman

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