One of the best things that happened whilst I was in Cambodia is that I caught The New Pope (which also lead me to watch The Young Pope which had me worshipping Jude Law) which I think is one of the best TV series that I have seen. It simply blew me away. Paolo Sorrentino is truly a genius when crafting his image of the Pope and the dirty politics behind the Vatican. Image source: Film Affinity
Let me start with The Young Pope itself which is a MUST see even though you are not a Catholic or a non-religious person.
It has too many things going right for this series – Jude Law as the fictitious Pope Pius XIII who seems ruthless but is actually soft and loving. Look at the superb and amazing cinematography with the realistic set of the actual Vatican. Image source: IMDB
This is probably the only TV series that have very beautiful soundtrack and damn, they always seem to have the right song or right music for all the scenes). There were a few that is in my daily listening such as this one that involved the Prime Minister of Greenland:-
The song titled Senza Un Perché by Nada (she is 66 years old!) and this reflects the loneliness that the Pope has despite him being one of the most powerful men in the world and a spiritual leader to almost 1.3 billion people in the world. The end scene of the Prime Minister of Greenland dancing is just a nice icing on the cake. Just another day in the brilliance of Paolo Sorrentino and it does not stop there.
The plot itself is a brave one (yes, a man of religion can be vicious and evil too) and the other strong characters and yet the inspiring dialogue like this one which makes you ponder deeply:-
Just look at the words:-
We are all guilty
We are all guilty of war and death
In the same way, we can all be guilty of peace
I ask this of you on bended knee
I am ready to die for you, if only you will become guilty of peace
I always say to the children who write to me from all over the world: think about all the things you like
That is God
Children like all sorts of things, but none of them have ever written that what they like is war
Now look at whoever is next to you
Look at them with eyes of joy and remember what St. Augustine said: “If you want to see God, you have the means to do it
God is love
Words alone do not mean anything – look at the way, it was delivered. The Pope knowing how bad the situation in the country is, choosing not to be by the side of the dictator (this itself is a strong protest) and the twisted Sister Antonia.
And in the end, as the entourage is heading back to the Vatican, the Pope who does not wish to show his face to the public decides to walk back to the aeroplane where everyone is asleep except for one reporter and he mentioned that it (the speech) was beautiful but the Pope replies “the dancers gave a wonderful performance”
There is much to be understood from this show – both season 1 (The Young Pope) and season 2 (The New Pope). It is worth to watch it over and over again and you will always discover something interesting. I truly hope that they make Season 3 with Jude Law back as the Pope one way or another.