Updated: Apr 9, 2020
Fernando Meirelles is known for his 5-star films like 'City of God', a high energy violent drug-driven story in the favelas of Rio. This movie, even though it does explore the beautiful landscapes of Argentina, couldn't be any different. I was wrapped up and ready with dark chocolate by my side wanting to discover the secrets behind the Vatican walls. Knowing the somewhat boring storyline about Pope Benedict and future Pope Francis forging a new path for the Catholic Church, it dawned on me and my Lindt bar that we were in for some dissapointment. How we were ever so wrong.
I loved the intensity of this movie from such a simplistic narrative. My heart was constantly racing, from zooming camera angles catching quick facial expressions and shaken handshakes on screen. The in-depth conversations and flashbacks between the two popes were so memorable and gave you a real insight into their unique lives. I thought the nonlinear narrative worked well for this film and gave the audience empathy for each character, understanding the pressure and immense importance these two men carry on their shoulders. There was such joy in viewing Benedict and Francis' interests in the modern world around them, similar to how you felt when watching Helen Mirren as the Queen. It brought humbleness to the story and gave the audience a connection to their own lives. It is rare that two characters can lead such a powerful story alone, but from the well-entertained script of speeches and dedicated acting from Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce, the production impressively made it work.
For once I am lost for words for the movie pits. I did feel the ending was rushed slightly as we were suddenly faced with the change over of Popes. I would have liked to explore more of the decisions and emotions Benedict had as it happened. However, I felt the director played on this to depict a reflection of how society had to deal with the sudden changes in reality from these powerful figures.
It's hard to open up and look into these superior lives without twisting it into a make-believe tale. I thought Fernando did such a terrific job to identify the one thing we all have in common in the world today, that being, our connection for a companionship. The emotions expressed of anger, drive, and laughter through their friendship gave me the high speed drama after all.
OVERALL : 4