Dir; Fernando Meirelles. Starring; Johnathan Pryce, Anthony Hopkins, Juan Minujan. Color. PG-13. 125 minutes.
Religion is tough on every level. No matter what one believes, the finality of life is a complex issue. Catholics are hard core in their views. If you keep an open mind you will realize that “The Two Popes” does the same as it humanizes religious beliefs above stereotypical feelings of the church. Rarely do I say this, but I do not know how this film was made. From start to finish, this is what a miracle looks like if that were a palpable object.
Anthony Hopkins plays Pope Benedict XVI, a staunch conservative representative of the Catholic Church and pope since 2005. Having been appointed as a cardinal in 1977, he spent years advocating conservative values, enacting the “Congregate for the Doctrine of the Faith” in 2005, which absolved the church of all accusations of heresy. In 2013 he became the first pope since Gregory the XII in 1415 to resign from the position, and the first to do so on his own holy recognition since Pope Celestine V in 1294. Why did he do it? Because it was the right thing to do.
Benedict XVI gave the reigns to our now Pope Francis, the current head of the Catholic Church. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pope Francis had a complicated life which included his involvement in the “Dirty War” from 1976-1983 in which more than 30,000 people disappeared for various political and religious reasons. Yes, your current pope did not do that but also allowed it to happen which still haunts him to this day I’m sure because even though he represents God in believer’s minds, he was a part of people being killed even though he did not pull the trigger.
The political atrocities in this film are told as is and absolutely honest. What our current Pope Francis did was wrong, but not unbearably immoral. Flashback sequences with the young Jorge Bergoglio (Juan Minujin), now Pope Francis, are exceptional. His regret in his decisions, which included the death of members of the clothe to save others, are real. Where our previous Pope Benedict was wrong, but he did not know any better, is honest. “The Two Popes” shows that these are flawed people with a mountain of responsibility heaped on them.
The strength of “The Two Popes” comes from the fact that it is about two human beings figuring it out. Men that people will believe are a savior. Talk about pressure. Other than perhaps Lebron James being dawned the title of “King James” at the age of 17 I cannot imagine that level of worldwide scrutiny. That is not what “The Two Popes” cares about. Intimate conversations between the two, and whether you are a Catholic or not we all know they are just men. Hopkins and Pryce are phenomenal as they bounce off of each other in very intimate situations that are grounded. A long drawn out conversation between the two in the Vatican is breathtaking. And yes, it is simply two old men reflecting on life.
No matter your status on faith “The Two Popes” will affect you on a humanistic level. Is watching two ‘old dudes’ talk for two hours interesting? Yep. So much more interesting than the biggest summer blockbusters in many years past. Pain and understanding are the root of what it is to live which is what this film hits on perfectly.
Suck Factor: 0out of 7 (7 means your movie really SUCKS!)
Written by Byrd
The SUCK FACTOR, how it works. We have flipped the rating system upside down. If a film is classic, it gets a 0. Meaning that movie has 0 SUCKS. If a film is complete trash you must avoid at all costs, it gets a 7, meaning this movie really SUCKS!