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Karol - The Pope, the Man (TV) More at IMDbPro »Karol, un Papa rimasto uomo (original title)

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Really splendid stuff

9/10
Author: rps-2 from Bracebridge Ont
17 April 2006

I am an apostate Catholic, an agnostic and a cynic. Yet I was moved strongly by this excellent film which, if anything, is better than the first. Mind you, the bad guys are a little too bad. Heck, even assassins shave sometimes. And not all Soviet officials were quite as dour as the Russian heavies here. And surely Pope Paul John must have had some character flaws, however tiny. But no matter. The film captures the goodness of the man without being either preachy or idealistic. This is a well done historical epic that I trust will be trotted out every ten or fifteen years. It definitely will stand the test of time. And, coincidentally, kudos to CBC for showing it first in North America.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Oscar nod for Piotr Adamczyk

10/10
Author: andre-lempicki from United States
16 October 2009

I am Jewish but when I saw "Karol, the Pope" and especially the performance of Piotr Adamczyk, I thought this was Oscar performance. I lived in Los Angeles for many years and I think that this performance could NEVER get any nod from the 5,000 members of the Academy. Wrong topic, wrong religion, wrong nationality of the actor (Polish), etc. I am not politically correct right now, but that's what I think. His interpretation of the life of the Polish pope was exquisite, very emotional and just perfect. To show the Pope throughout the years, from the young man to the dying man, with all its humor, humaneness and big heart, was just unbelievable. I cried throughout the movie, which does not happen very often, because being a filmmaker I am very cynical. Have a nice day, Andre

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Majestic and sublime, yet, so down-to-earth and humane

9/10
Author: Marcin Kukuczka from Cieszyn, Poland
19 November 2006

The sequel to KAROL-UN UOMO DIVENTATO PAPA ("Karol-a Man who Became Pope") was long awaited among many viewers since Giacomo Battiato, the director, used his best endeavors to make the biopic of John Paul II most accurate and touching. Finally, October, the 13th 2006 saw the theatrical Polish premiere of the movie KAROL-UN PAPA RIMASTO UOMO ("Karol-Pope who Remained Man"). While the first part dealt with the 1939-1978 period and the early life of Karol Wojtyla, the sequel deals with his long, fruitful 1978-2005 pontiff. When I first heard that Mr Battiato was going to make a movie entirely about the pontiff of John Paul II, I had mixed feelings because of one material factor: we are so much used to the real pope, his photos galore, archive recordings that I was afraid it would not appeal to me as I find only actors playing. Yet, after seeing this I say I was wrong. The film does a great job.

Firstly, the director dynamically presents the pontiff. Of course, it is impossible to show the entire 26 year-long period of time. Yet, the significant aspects are there. I liked the focus on severe politics contrasted with humane mercy. That is, I think, the gist of who John Paul II was: a genius at being a public figure and a genius at feeling empathy with every single individual. Communism with its focus on totalitarian regime is presented against the Pope with his focus on freedom; terrorists with their destruction of humanity against the Pope with his Civilization of Love; African tribes with their cruelty against the Pope with his mercy. However, it is, in no way, a political movie but a purely balanced biopic of a man who was exposed to such reality. Mind, for instance, the scene with politicians: the pope does not enter into politics but defends human rights and peace which are fundamental in any social matters.

Secondly, the movie is filled with wonderful symbolic moments. Consider, for instance, the attempt on John Paul II's life. There is a memorable morning of May, the 13th 1981. The pope gets up early and prays in his chapel placing all his life hope in God. The scene is interrupted a few times by the short moments of Ali Agca (Alkis Zanis), a perfect killer, who takes exercises relying solely on himself. Besides, there are lots of moments of flashbacks constituting pope's empathy. When he hears of human tragedy, he sees the events in his mind's eyes. Consider, for example, a horrifying moment in Sarajewo and the death of an innocent couple. Another moment that touched me was the one in hospital and the conversation with the woman. I also recommend to draw attention on the visit to the African coast and John Paul II's prayer on the seashore. One of the most memorable symbols, however, is the way the film makes use of the words "Do not be afraid" translated into many world languages.

Thirdly, this is one of the few films that shows John Paul II's real Christian love: which love is that? The one to the poorest of the poor. Even if he is such a majestic figure, he does not hesitate to feed the lepers, kiss little African children, console the dying. I liked the director's idea to show Mother Teresa (Adriana Asti). John Paul II had much in common with this humble woman who sacrificed her life to the poorest of the poor in Calcutta. But, together with this love filled with Christ and His Mission, John Paul II is also a man who shows understanding. Consider the character of Julia Ritter (Leslie Hope) and her conversation with John Paul about modern social problems like contraception or abortion.

Finally, the film would not be that great if it weren't for the artistic features. The cast are good, I liked Piotr Adamczyk, particularly in the sequel since he had a hard task: not to play young Karol Wojtyla but the John Paul II many people have in fresh memories. This required much preparation, indeed. Michele Placido surprised me as Dr Buzzonetti and Adriana Asti is appealing as Mother Teresa. Timothy Martin is also memorable as a missionary who takes care of African people. The music by Ennio Morricone is marvelous and supplies the movie with more profoundity.

I recommend everyone to see this film. It is a moving story of the man who went so far and yet has never forgotten empathy, humanity, love; the man who was always so close to the poor, forgotten, frustrated, abandoned; the man who consoled the dying in Calcutta (now, indeed, thanking him in paradise); the man who became an icon of Christ at the dawn of the 21st century.

A friend said to me "I don't want to see another drama" but my answer to that was "It is no drama but a movie of hope". Indeed, although filled with suffering, the film is throughout illuminated by the blissful smile and heavenly blessing of Karol Wojtyla. The final archive shot of the funeral moving on to real John Paul II's smiling face in the mountains covered with snow touches to tears. Profound film and a must see

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

part of ladder

Author: Vincentiu from Romania
10 December 2012

a brave act to continue history of a man of century with same actor, in same manner. but the courage is not imprudence but wise exercise to do a large fresco. with little pieces, without hurry or great ambitions. only a drawing in which every line is a way to public soul. a huge carpet - key of a world or only portrait of a fisherman in search of better society. secret - John Paul II is not perfect. it remains same man from Krakow, same intelligent builder of transformation beyond the Iron Curtain. this is sense of this work. and source of its touching beauty.in rest, inspired music, best acting, right atmosphere. and emotion as step for each level of story.because Karol, un Papa rimasto uomo is not propaganda or manifesto. only a map.new part of ...un uomo diventato papa but in different nuances. tale about use of authority, it is only short flash from a never ending beginning.

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Not nearly as good as expected...

4/10
Author: buiger from Monaco
3 November 2013

I very much agree with the comments made by Piotr and dennis888 above. Not nearly as detailed or introspective as the first part, and far too obsequious.

It's funny, the same director made the first part of Pope John Paul II's biography and it was very good. Now this second part seems as if it was made only to get over with it once and for all. There is no emotion in the film-making (which was evident in the first part) no humanity in the characterization of Karol Woytila, he seems like a sanctified caricature of himself, there are no doubts, no dwelling, no uncertainties. Also the world events which he helped to shape are treated very superficially, almost as if they reluctantly had to be somehow included. A shame really, I was expecting something much better.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

good movie

10/10
Author: jcastano-2 from Mexico
23 September 2006

it is a very good movie and a moving one, but I think it is a very small movie for such a big pope. It would be interesting if in the DVD features, we could find some statistics about the quantity of travels, the quantity of people he met, the amount of speeches he gave, the influence he had on different churches, catholic and non catholic, etc.

The movie stays short in the trips he made to America, Mexico, Chile and many other countries for specific reasons and church problems that were taking place in the catholic church. Hoe he renovated the moral sense and thoughts of many priests, and theologians, how he insisted in the universal call to holiness, his love for the blessed sacrament, the renovation of the religious life, the problems with the Society of Jesus, some bishops and catholic doctrine professors. The way he used to reunite philosophers, scientists, from around the whole world to discuss many items every year.

I know it would be impossible to reunite 26 years in a 2 hour movie, but it is a very good try, to start with.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Very Poor Sequel

2/10
Author: denis888 from Russian Federation
25 December 2012

I know, I know, many Poles and many Catholics will tear me to shreds, but come on, this sequel suffers almost all the bad moments you can ever imagine. It is too slow, too long, too sweet and almost saccharine in its delivery. The events at the same time are very jumbled and often seem to be utterly out of connection. What is worse, is the xtremely poor acting - the roles played by several people are too exaggerated, too naive and too much all over the place. Parts for Mother Teresa and some Communist workers are among the most unbearably bad examples of that The film suffers of too much worship ans veneration, too much of solemnity and too much seriousness. The Pope seems to be a frozen marble statue and not a vivid Karol of the first movie. The whole work is very sweet and too much pizzas and sugar - not realistic and far too overplayed. This is a fair try but it failed

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

What was this supposed to be, a 1910s western movie?

2/10
Author: Piotr (807@wp.pl) from Sosnowiec, Poland
31 March 2010

A real shame. Such important and complex figure as John Paul II deserves a good movie about him; unfortunately, this one did not come anywhere near that.

Piotr Adamczyk gives his best efforts, but even the master violinist wouldn't give too impressive performance when given very poorly written concerto. Essentially, the movie jumps from one episode to another, being a collection of small pieces rather than a cohesive unity; in effect, this leaves the viewer increasingly bored as the movie progresses, as there is nothing really interesting here.

But what hurts the movie the most is the ultimate polarization of characters. The Pope is always good, smiling, charismatic, wise, - put in any positive adjective and it will definitely fit in. The baddies are always cold and cynical. Such polarization gives the viewer the impression of watching an old 1910s silent western: with the Sheriff always cleanly shaven and wearing stainless white coat and the bad guys always bearded and wearing black. Of course, all the controversies concerning the Pope are absent: he is perfect human being, and so, becomes a cardboard cut-out rather than a live character, far from the complex, rich personality the Pope in reality was. In fact, the same can be said about virtually every character, with one notable exception.

The ironic twist of the movie is that the only character that sticks to the viewer's mind is the infamous Mehmet Ali Agca: somehow, he is the only character in the movie that seems to be human, of flesh and bones. And the scene where he assembles his handgun and prepares for his mission is the high point of the entire movie: suddenly, some life is breathed into a lifeless parade of clichés and cardboard cut-outs. Sad. 2/10.

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