If, like me, you’ve got a soft spot for historical drama then Pilgrimage will be right up your alley.
The movie follows a group of 13th century Irish monks as they transport a holy relic from their small abbey all the way to the Vatican because Pope Innocent III believes it could help the church with its conflict in the Holy Land.
The film’s two central characters are The Mute, played by Jon Bernthal, and Brother Diarmuid, played by Tom Holland. The Mute is a former crusader who works for the abbey as repentance for his crimes while Brother Diarmuid is the youngest monk and thus has little to no experience with the outside world. Hearing Spider-man (Holland) speaking fluid Gaelic is certainly interesting.
There are two other main characters in the film. There’s French Cistercian monk Frère Geraldus, played by Stanely Stanley Weber, a stern and unsettlingly dogmatic figure who’s holier-than-thou attitude serves as a great contrast to the more humble monks he leads. The other is Raymond de Merville, played by Richard Armitage, a French knight seeking the relic for his own purposes.
The story is pretty straightforward and might be too predictable for some people. Thankfully the acting is solid throughout with some great attention to historic detail. One of my favourite parts of the movie is how the characters often switch between French, Gaelic and English depending on who they’re talking to.
It’s a nice touch, especially since they could have just had everyone speak English with different accents and few would have noticed.
It’s little things like this scattered throughout the film that help keep it interesting even as the story sort-of drags near the middle.