If you are looking for a probing look into the happenings of the church of Scientology, then Lois Theroux’s big screen feature may not be for you.
My Scientology Movie is more of light hearted look at the church from the outside, with Theroux politely knocking at the door once in a while then being told to fuck off.
The group, who are notoriously hard to get media access to, have been a fascinating subject matter for many journalists for years, and this latest attempt is not quite the hard hitting journalism many have come to expect from Theroux.
Using high-profile defectors from the religion as advisers, Theroux’s methods are mainly based off re-enactments – praise needs to be heaped on Andrew Perez who plays David Miscavige – and through this you do get a sense of how people in the “cult” can be so easily persuaded.
It is the scenes where Theroux and notorious defector Marty Rathbun – formerly known as the churches enforcer – are alone where the BBC documentary maker is back to his charming best, leaving long awkward silences allowing for Rathbun to open up that little bit more.
For a film which touches on quite a serious subject, it is the humorous encounters with the church that make this film, as otherwise it would appear like a failed attempt at infiltrating Scientology.
A shot with a “freelance cameraman” outside the studio where the crew are hosting its re-enactments brings a big laugh as he is recognised from an earlier scene and he nobs in acknowledgement.
Ultimately, this is an amusing, eye-opening film. However, the one thing we do take from it is that the Church of Scientology is no laughing matter.
JUST AN INSIGHT SCORE: 6/10