Just like how I had heard a lot about films like Parasite, I had heard a lot about this biographical drama film. Coupled with reviews on many who loved it, and many who criticised it’s plot, settings and premise it was a very different experience from the films I have watched before. I went into this film without any previous knowledge on the workings and procedures that are shown in this film and it really opened up another interesting piece of culture to me as well. So let’s go into the review for this film that was nominated for Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Country of origin : United Kingdom, United States, Argentina, Italy
Language : English, Spanish
Directed by : Fernando Meirelles
Screenplay by : Anthony McCarten
Based on : The Pope by Anthony McCarten
Starring : Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pyrce.
Music : Bryce Dessner
Cinematography : César Charlone
Released : 31 August 2019 (Telluride Film festival)
Duration : 125 minutes
Genre : Biographical Drama
The premise of the film starts with the death of the Pope John Paul II. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio who is the archbishop of Bueno Aires is called to the Vatican along with all the other Cardinals to elect the new pope.
As millions wait for the results, German cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is elected as the new pope while Bergoglio comes second in vote.
Seven years later as the institutions is plagued with scandals and issues that are now open to the public, Bergoglio is seen submitting his resignation to the Vatican but gets no response. As he decides to travel to The Vatican to submit it to the Pope in person, he gets called to the Vatican suddenly. There Bergoglio meets with the Pope at the Palace of Castel Gandolfo which is the Pope’s summer residence.
The film then centres around their discussion of God, how Bergoglio came to be in the position he is in today, and the future of the institution and the issues surrounding it.
I really went into watching this movie blind. Blind as in, I really had no background of the methods and practises surrounding the premise of this film at all. And I should tell you that it was indeed varu fascinating.
The entire film was a lengthy conversation between the two actors with some flashback scenes centred mostly around Bergoglio. it wasn’t just their story, whatever they were recounting was the story of the incidents at different periods of time around the world that probably influenced millions. Some of it real events and some of it fictional.
The settings around the movie where really good. While some spots were really famous spots, the actual conversation at the summer residence was a sight for the eyes. It somehow blended in with the entire premise of the film and I guess that was the part of the film that I liked the most. Considering that the entire film was centred around a conversation this film gave me “The Man From Earth” vibes too at a point! (Let me know what you felt on that in the comments below).
Now, no matter how contradicting their views were there was never any anger, or debate but rather a gracious conversation where both parties were willing to hear and understand what the other was saying to it’s true intent. I think that’s a value that we have really lost in our day to day lives along the way and I was going through a lot of things or conversations that I have had, which would have gone so much better if we had a more understanding conversation that was depicted in this movie.
The actors did a great job at depicting their roles with the seriousness it requires and also depicting their personal quirks – be it playing the piano, or football.
On the music side we have a lot of popular songs and classical bits which have been adopted in this movie but more so in their remastered versions. You can listen to the music on this SPOTIFY link here. I liked how there were some popular additions from Abba and The Beatles as well!
Overa did I like this movie? I sure did. It’s pleasant, easy and smooth. Even the climax as impactful as it is won’t shake you up too much that you literally get thrown around. It’s subtle, powerful and beautiful. And on their nominations – well deserved.
Let me know what you felt after watching this movie, or your thoughts on the theme! It’s available on Netflix if you’re interested!