‘The Two Popes’ is a biographical drama film detailing the end of Pope Benedict XVI time as Pope and the rise of Pope Francis. The film looks at the relationship and, to an extent friendship between these two men, showing how even though they had strong disagreements, Benedict was far more conservative in his approach than Pope Francis; they found common ground and, a common respect for one another.
I was worried when I watched this film that it might be preachy or, have a message or, agenda that it tried to force down the viewer’s throat, I am pleased to report that this film can be enjoyed by anyone no matter your religion. As it is an acting masterclass and, each piece of dialogue is delivered with such relish that you can’t help but love it. Extensively this film is made by the performances of Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict and, Jonathan Price as Pope Francis, it is a joy to see these two veterans acting on screen they are both giving it their all and, it is a marvellous thing to watch.
This film is not afraid to get dark, at times it covers some very serious subject matter such as the child sex abuse within the Church as well as Pope Francis’ past in Argentina. These sections are brief but incredibly powerful they leave an impact on you and, make you think; I applaud this approach as it gives the film a heft to it that helps to define it beyond simply a film about the Papacy.
My one issue with the film is that it feels as though it could have been made shorter and, that it could have benefited from a harsher edit. By this, I mean that some sequences in the film do end up overstaying their welcome, the flashbacks to Pope Francis’ past are a prime example, as a result of this they lose some of their impact as instead of feeling thoughtfully considered they instead feel as though the filmmakers are trying to pad out the films’ runtime. This a shame as most of the film feels very tight and, most scenes have meaning.
Overall this is very interesting and, I learnt things I wasn’t previously aware of, Hopkins and Price both do a fantastic job in their respective roles and, I think it was a brave move for the film to have darker subject matter but, I am really glad they did. This could have been great if the pacing was a bit better and, every scene felt necessary.
Reviewed by Luke