When I finished watching this movie, I started to google some information about both the popes, their real lives, their relationship and other things connected to the story of the movie. I even read some information about the movie itself. It was…interesting. Both, the movie and the information I found after. Yet, I still don’t know what rating I will give the movie in the end.
The story is based on true characters – Joseph Ratzinger, who served as Pope Benedict XVI from 2005 to 2013 and Jorge Mario Bergoglio, at the time of the story Cardinal, later, in 2013, being elected as Pope Francis. The movie is inspired by true events but not by a true story. It starts with the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005 and the election of the new pope Benedict XVI. Then several years pass and the story continues in 2012 when Bergoglio is invited to Rome to talk to the Pope based on a letter he previously sent him, asking him to approve his retirement. Then the story continues with many philosophical, theological, moral and other debates, showing many differences and different opinions they had. The Pope doesn’t want to allow the Cardinal to retire and reveals his plan of himself resigning instead.
The movie is very slow at the beginning with some real scenes from the John Paul II funeral and also wanna be a realistic camera. It gets better when Cardinal arrives at the summer palace of the Pope, but there are very annoying sounds of the insects that sound like steam pot and sometimes they are too loud so it is hard to understand what the characters are saying. Also it was very annoying that most of the movie is being spoken in Spanish, Italian or Latin, so you have to read the subtitles all the time (unless you speak all of the languages, which I don’t).
However, for me, the movie started to be interesting when they both started to tell their secrets from the past and revealing their feelings and reasons why they did some things. But it was almost at the end of the movie. I have to say that some themes they discussed were interesting and made me think of them, but generally, as an atheist, I didn’t enjoy the movie as much as I expected. On the other side, Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict and Jonathan Pryce as the Cardinal Bergoglio were both great, especially Hopkins playing Smetana on piano was a nice surprise! The movie tried to show both the men in more human light and even made few funny situations or jokes and I think both actors did their job very well.
Generally, I am glad that I saw the movie as it was an interesting insight in the background of the Church, the Pope election, his life, etc., but nothing that would make some extraordinary feeling inside. For this reason, I give the movie 6/10.