Movie Review

The Two Popes (2019)

An unexpected great film! I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. Don’t miss it.

The Two Popes (2019), released in Netflix two days ago, is a semi-fictional documentary based on true events that happened in the Holy Vatican a few years ago. The film by Fernando Meirelles follows the meetings between the Holy Pope Benedict XVI and (then) Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in 2012 to 2013, which leads to the resignation by the former and the later ascending to become the new pope – Holy Pope Francis.

The Cardinal from Argentina, who is disappointed with the way the Catholic Church was handling the recent scams, arrives at Rome to meet the Holy Pope and get his resignation approved. He was expecting to see a Pope who will be annoyed with him due to their differences of opinion. Instead, he meets a Pope who is friendly and with a secret plan to something bigger – absent of any mysticism, their meetings carry on in a down to earth manner.

When the senior Pope tells the Cardinal, that all his life he was feeling the presence of God with him till recently when he stopped hearing HIS voice, we feel the pain and anguish that the Pope should be going through. Similar was the feeling when the Cardinal narrates his ‘dark’ past during the junta rule in Argentina. There were many enjoyable moments too – like the Cardinal having a chat with the gardener and receiving a sapling as gift; the cardinal staying in a local inn in Vatican and enjoying street foods; (and) the Pope’s fitness band constantly reminding him to keep walking! The Church officiates in Latin, Pope Benedict XVI is a German, Cardinal Bergoglio speaks Spanish and they use English to communicate – this four language mix was interesting too.

We don’t expect documentaries, especially one that’s about spiritual leaders to be interesting. Here, thanks to the brilliant screenplay by Anthony McCarten, the film was humorous and enjoyable – the dialogues were sharp, witty and clean. Stellar performances by the lead actors Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce.

Available on Netflix India.

Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce - The Two Popes
Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce – The Two Popes

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