After much reluctance and months of abstaining, I finally broke down and watched The Nun Movie after a fellow co-worker lent me his copy of the DVD. The film in question is The Black Narcissus (1947) starring Deborah Kerr and that will be the last time I mention the actual title. To me, its simply The Nun Movie because I can't bring myself to appreciate the film as it is meant to be appreciated and by using the title I feel like I would be defacing a great work of art.
It's not that I have anything particular against nuns, but stories about them have always repelled me. While I am fascinated by strength of will and self-deprivation in the name of a higher purpose, I find the self-imposed entrapment and repression often shown in these films about nuns to be most depressing. To each their own but not for me. If anything, I am more attracted to stories in which young women escape the fate of becoming a nun, like Cosette in Les Miserables (1998) or more sordidly Simone in Quills (2000). Even watching Nacho Libre (2006) was terribly frustrating as I wanted Friar Ignacio and Sister Encarnacion to break their vows and fall into each others arms. In stories, I always prefer the fulfillment of forbidden love over love forsaken for righteousness. I know I sound like an incorrigible heathen, but that's just how I like my stories!
Not to say that I didn't like The Nun Movie. It was very good and I understand why it's a reknown classic. The cinematography is quite astounding and the film showcases how talented Deborah Kerr is as an actress. However, no matter how great a movie is, if it doesn't speak to my soul, my heart or my mind, I let it go and move on. I hope that years from now I will be able to revisit this movie and truly appreciate it for what it is.