I love Anthony Hopkins, you should know that before reading further. So the fact that he is in ‘The Rite’ is all I need to know to get me to the theater. He plays Father Lucas Trevant who is an exorcism expert in Italy and if we can believe the claims, is still practicing near Florence.
Colin O’Donoghue plays the role of Michael Kovak, a skeptical Priest-in-training who is sent to the Vatican to learn how to be an exorcist for the Catholic Church. He is a little bland in his role, although very handsome. Of course, who can compete on screen with the great Sir Anthony Hopkins?
We want young Kovak to end up with the reporter, Angeline, played by Alice Braga. Will they end up together or will he complete his vow to the Church? In an effort not to give away details, I’ll just say that although it was suspenseful, I did find it a little predictable and the character Kovak, almost sleep walking.
He redeems himself near the end, though not a moment too soon. I also thought they missed an opportunity to make another leading role out of Italy itself. Besides the brief few shots of Remus and Romulus, the wolves that tradition credits with Rome’s birth, the Vatican, Coliseum exterior, a tratoria here and there, they could have been anywhere. Or maybe that is just the opinion of a person who loves Italy, especially Rome. Perhaps they only used photos of these places instead of going to the expense and difficulty of filming there. I confess to having purposely avoided reading anything about the filming as I didn’t want to be influenced by any opinion other than my own. The seed of somebody else’s thoughts, once planted, is impossible to uproot although it can be disagreed with. And often is.
But the thing I ultimately took away, was the eternal debate of good vs. evil, dark vs. light, God vs. the devil. Can we believe that a higher power exists and not believe in its equal and opposite? Can we accept the theory of demonic possession? Can exorcists evict an evil squatter that has taken over a human body and if so, how is it that they know how to do this? This conversation, even if internal is reason enough to see this movie.
My husband enjoyed it and I must admit, for entertainment, it’s too good to miss! Anthony Hopkins is reason enough to see ‘The Rite’.
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