I think the book's better, anyway.
February 28, 2004 02:13 PM
I just saw the movie and here are my thoughts:
1. The film was less anti-semitic than I was led to believe based upon reading certain other reviews. Indeed, I didn't see it as anti-semitic at all. It did show how the Jewish religious leaders of that day were out to get Jesus in response to their perception that He was a threat to them. But it was clear that Pilate was the one who ultimately made the choice to have him crucified (even if he did feel "damned if he did and damned if he didn't"). Furthermore, this Jesus was clearly Jewish himself and hence, if anything, the film is pro-semitic in that regard as this is the race and nationality of individual which God elected to reveal Himself "in the flesh" to the world. (That's more of a comment on the incarnation generally than on this particular movie, but this film clearly showed Jesus as being an active Jew - racially and religiously).
2. The movie was just as violent as I was led to believe based upon the reviews of others; i.e. no more and no less. Before I saw the film, I had read about the fake flesh that was pasted on to the actor's body during the whipping scene and I think that really helped me to not be so shocked or awed by the simulated violence. I found myself wondering about how they made that skin and I was trying to figure out what it was made out of while the whipping was taking place, so that scene didn't really cause any nausea in my gut. I think that most youth over 13 years of age can handle watching that scene without the need of counseling afterwards. - Frankly, the brutal beating displayed in this movie goes along way toward explaining why Jesus died so much more quickly on the cross than was normally the case - they nearly beat Him to death before He was even put up there!
3. The amount of artistic license was much higher than I'd expected. Based upon other reviews, I was led to believe that this movie was highly faithful to the Biblical texts but I was disappointed to see how much of the dialogue and visual effects were blatantly promoting a particular theological agenda: i.e. the substitutionary theory of the atonement (that it was literally Jesus' blood which saved us and nothing else), a literal devil, and a literal physical resurrection.
Granted, many (if not most) Christians believe these things, but they are not the only faithful interpretations of the Gospel (the Good News of Jesus Christ). Indeed, there are several other orthodox theories of the atonement (exemplary, Christus Victor, etc.) that have NOT been deemed heretical and most Churches and scholars consider people's beliefs about the exact nature and concept of Satan/Devil and even about the resurrection as being "non-essentials" of the faith.
Some examples of problematic (to me) non-Biblical events in the film include:
* a visible devil who pesters and tempts Jesus in the Garden at the start of the film; * this Devil asking Jesus if He really believed "that what He as one person was about to go through could really provide for the salvation of all humanity" etc.;
* Jesus stomping on a snake (I suppose this symbolizes how Jesus withstood the Devil's temptation and foreshadowed His ultimate victory over the Devil) - heck the snake didn't even bite Him, it was just slithering by minding its own business!;
* Jesus saying that "I am the Son of God and Messiah" when He was being interrogated by the priestly Council;
* and Jesus looking exactly like He did before He was killed (with no lash marks on His face or body, but still having holes in His hands) physically arising from the tomb. (The Bible does mention Mary M. meeting the post-resurrection Christ in the Garden but she didn't recognize Him as His appearance had changed).
To my mind, what's essential for Christians is that they believe that there is a God, that they aren't God, that God is love and seeks a mutually loving relationship with God's people, that there are forces at work in the world that work to try and frustrate that relationship, and that Jesus of Nazareth was a person Who lived His life in such a way that He led people to knowing more fully Who God is, who they are, and how to be in right relationship with God and each other (via following Jesus and His ways) and that if people accept that "Way" (which God graciously provided) then we can experience salvation and abundant life here and now (as well as after we die). I'll even go so far as to say that Christians need to believe in the resurrection, but I don't even think the Apostle Paul necessarily believed that Jesus' resurrection was a literal/physical one - and this doesn't mean it wasn't any less "real"! Indeed, Paul (and countless other believers over the years) have had profound experiences of the Risen Christ in their lives bringing them chances at a new life.
But, I will say this: The movie was well acted, well shot, and Mel Gibson did single-handedly keep the fake-blood industry from falling victim to the downturn in our economy!
February 29, 2004 05:43 PM
and i will say this: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
i was only hoping that there would be a scene where he's nailed to the cross and yells "FRRRREEEEEDDDDDDOMMMMMMMMM!!!!!".
March 2, 2004 05:06 PM
An old Black spiritual includes, the words
"Were you there, when they crucified Our Lord...it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble".
That remains the impetus for Mel Gibson's , "The Passion of the Christ".
It is NOT about Yeshua's teachings. It is not about His life, ecept the last 12 hours.
And it is certainly not about the sons and daughters of Abraham/Moses.
What many do not understand, that if one is not familiar with that excruciating period of redemption and salvation, and Eucharist, a reviewer will entirely miss the point of the film.
Like seeing a film based on Russian literature, without knowing the form, or without knowing Russian.
A template, for those that wish to understand(and don't).
Look up on the web the following liturgical (Christian Church)devotions:
1. Stations of the Cross
2. the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary
3. The Seven dolors (Sorrows) of the Blessed Virgin Mary (only the last five).
The viewer will then be able to track exactly what Mel was doing, scene for scene, with those templates. Then one will be able to say, “Yes. I was there! And now I understand”.
Peace and love of the Christ be with all.
March 5, 2004 07:15 AM
I would like to express my deep gratitude to everyone who shared in making such a magnificent film. How much is my satisfaction to see the American cinema coming back to one of the constants the moviemakers have completely forgotten which is simply the unique personality of Jesus the Christ. I was astonished how to ignore making a film on such a topic despite the great development in the field of cinematography at the latest few years.
kyrillosse kamal |
March 9, 2004 01:21 PM
This movie had problem being true, what the hell was the midget in the arms of satan as he walked through the crowd?
This is another blonder of people not knowing the bible in Hollywood.
The only difference of the film over older versions was the addition of more blood.
Guess Who |
March 13, 2004 11:57 AM
The movie captures roughly counting 9 minutes of dialogue from the new testament. There is no clarity as to which Gospel the story is based on.
There is nothing much to add to those 9 minutes of story in the Bible. Hollywood really shows its true character by turning the story into a gore flick. What message do we get from watching this movie?
Passion is suffering!
The movie shows many similarities with George W. Bush's foreign policy of Shock and Awe by deliberately twisting the facts. The scenes in which Pontius Pilatus is helpless and the Pharisees are merciless do not help Gibson in adding credibility to the story.
The Passion of the Christ is too Roman, too violent, too long, meaningless and historically incorrect. It is therefore probably bound to be a hit (at least in the USA)!
March 15, 2004 12:45 PM