My fellow viewers and I now share a connection, over which we could ...
This renowned Saint, the Bishop of Pentapolis, suffered unspeakable slander and strife in his lifetime, as his renowned popularity made him a threat to others who aspired to become the Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The humble Nektarios favoured simplicity and asceticism, but the people’s reverence for him stirred up envy in the ecclesiastical ranks and earned him unjust removal from his position of priest in Egypt. His is the story of doing what is right in the eyes of God, even in spite of misjudgement in the eyes of other humans -or worse, in those of hierarchical superiors. This is a currently pertinent, perennially exemplary disposition, one by which we can all be inspired.
Rather than offer indulgently action-packed sequences, or intentionally artsy ones with purely aesthetic appeal, Man of God portrays a true story that is more captivating than fiction, and does it tastefully and convincingly. Aris Servetalis is ideal as Nektarios, with expressions and delivery indubiously authentic and adept, as well as a completely believable countenance that further casting could not have eclipsed. The orchestration is emphatic, and imparts additional emotional impact to a movie that had me, admittedly, weeping several times. I was so enthralled that I forgot to drink half my Elysian IPA, which cost me a small fortune and seemed like an ale fit for screening a spiritual production.
The scenic and moody cinematography, acute acting, and seductive script are powerful, and powerfully backed by the sonorous, symphonic soundtrack. And, like I say, this true story is more compelling than most fictitious ones. For mature, contemplative, empathetic viewers, especially those with an appreciation for history and religion, Man of God is a moving, truly must-see movie.
Rating: 5 stars; moving, interesting, insightful, sad, happy, and sometimes comical
Matt Bender, Writer of COVID-42, Athos Press (2022)