The Rite, Anthony Hopkins movie is a supernatural thriller which will certainly thrill Anthony Hopkins fans to see him skillfully reinvent himself yet again in another guise of evil in this dark, exorcism movie that deals with the age old battle between good and evil, God and Satan.
The Rite is allegedly based on a true story. Anthony Hopkins stars as Father Lucas Trevant, who is the character based on the real Father Gary Thomas whose life- story the movie is supposed to resemble. Thomas, a priest and Vatican approved exorcist, along with two other exorcists acted as advisor to director Mikael Hafstrom and attended the movie premier.
The movie centres around the young American Priest, Father Michael Kovak, played by newcomer Colin O’Donaghue. Michael, who has grown up literally around dead bodies (his Father is a mortician) has such serious doubts concerning his faith, that he tries to leave the calling. Instead Michael is sent to Rome to none other than The Vatican to study the rite of exorcism and it is there he meets the eccentric exorcist Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins) and they commence a series of exorcisms together but Michael refuses to acknowledge the Devil, demonic possession itself or the paranormal. Kovak is later introduced to a journalist, Angeline (Alice Braga), in his exorcism class whom he befriends and who eventually supports him through the final exorcism.
The Rite, is somewhat slow-paced, although there is an air of suspense maintained, thankfully or not as your taste maybe, this is not a blood and gore movie, far more sophisticated than that! The exorcisms themselves are not over dramatic, so this is not your usual exorcist type movie.
As is customary in movies with Anthony Hopkins, his background study and preparation for the role of Father Lucas has been meticulous, even having studied Latin and Italian, as well as taken advice from on-set exorcists.
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Anthony Hopkins gives a gem of a performance as Father Lucas whose mysterious character leaves us with a suitable element of doubt. Hopkins even, (as he often does) added to his own script to bring something of his own personality to Father Lucas, with the following observation “The interesting thing about skeptics is that we’re always looking for proof. The question is, what on earth would we do if we found it”. Not surprisingly this has become the main quote from the movie. Another touch that I feel Hopkins may have been responsible for is when Father Lucas has to answer a call on his mobile right in the middle of an intense exorcism and Kovak has to continue the event himself! This brings back memories of another of Anthony Hopkins movies when he played Hannibal Lecter and again had to answer his mobile phone when about to kill someone, by throwing them out of a Church belfry! A superb performance was given by Anthony Hopkins who injected the right measure of pure evil into this smart, haunting thriller with a twist…..
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