Celibacy seemed like a natural progression for Adam, for whom the compassion of woman holds no interest. However, Adam's disinterest in the fairer race has nothing to do with his religion, as he desires men - a sexual inclination deemed by his own religious beliefs as both amoral and intrinsically evil. However, when Adam meets Lukasz he finds himself caught between his profession and his crippling need to be loved. His infatuation remains well-hidden, yet when a young boy in his care commits suicide, he finds himself under the harsh judicial glare of the church.
Commendable for taking its subject matter away from the well-trodden grounds of child abuse (and playfully toying with this theme to heighten its dramatic climax), this portrait of a love that must not be spoken is far too insecure in its own identity and tonally sporadic on numerous occasions to successfully portray the internal anguish of its conflicted protagonist. Throw in some heavy-handed, non-too-subtle metaphors for Adam and Lukasz's unrequited romance, and you have a film that lacks enough maturity and guile to deal with such a sensitive and controversial subject.
As a drama about repression and loneliness, In the Name Of works best when left to observe its captivating protagonist. However, once Szumowska ventures away from this priest who yearns to love (only to become a victim to his own faith), and moves toward the broader subject of Catholicism's archaic stance towards homosexuality, the foundations of this frail film collapse under the weight of its indecisive approach.
The 2013 Berlin Film Festival runs from 7-17 February. For more of our Berlinale coverage, simply follow this link.