Mother Teresa (Juliet Stevenson), recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, is considered one of the greatest humanitarians of modern times. Her selfless commitment changed hearts, lives and inspired millions throughout the world. The film is told through personal letters she wrote over the last forty years of her life and reveal a troubled and vulnerable woman who grew to feel an isolation and an abandonment by God. The story is told from the point of view of a Vatican priest (Max Van Sydow) charged with the task of investigating acts and events following her death. He recounts her life's work, her political oppression, her religious zeal, and her unbreakable spirit..
The characters in the slums of Kolkata (then known as Calcutta) pronounced their names in the Hindi way (when speaking in English) and in the Bengali way (when speaking in Bengali). (e.g. Kavitha is pronounced more like Kobita in Bengali) See more »
Disclaimer: I was a small investor in this film (I was cold-called about the film 7 years ago when Bill Riead was in the early stages of making the movie, and decided it was a good project). So I have a small financial interest in this movie.
I add that I am not catholic (nor even religious), and knew little about mother teresa before I saw this film, so I have no connection to the church, or mother teresa's particular cause.
As to the movie, let me start by saying the movie is not a great piece of filmmaking, and has obvious flaws. For example, the narration is stiff and tiresome in places, and the script feels unsophisticated compared to what we're used to these days.
ON THE OTHER HAND, despite its flaws, I found the movie to be quite powerful. I think the professional critics have really missed something here. I find it hard to believe that anyone could watch this movie and not be inspired by what this woman did, under the conditions that she did it. If you don't feel like crying at times, then you must have a hard heart. :-) The suffering of those people was off-scale, as was the personal sacrifice of mother teresa, who had to fight to be released from her cush job as a nun/teacher at a fancy girls school, to give her life to the poorest, sickest rejects of society. We should all be more like her.
I also want to plug some of the acting: I thought Stevenson was strong (within the limitations of the script), but it was many of the Indian actors (previously unknown to me) who stood out as charismatic and excellent.
Bottom line: lower your expectations as to the entertainment value of the film, and go see it for the way it will make you feel. And take your kids -- it's a very good message.
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