Sunday, March 28, 2004

Okay, so I finally saw The Passion of the Christ

Was it anti-Semetic? Probably a little, but no more so than the story already is, in general.

Was it violent? Well, yes, but no more so than your average horror movie. If you're used to gory movies it won't shock you too much.

Was it any good? Eh. I found myself unmoved. Brian made the point that it was probably something you would only 'get' if you knew the story intimately already. For instance, I though the Romans were being nice to Jesus when they present him with a cloth soaked in water after he says that he's thirsty. Brian had to explain to me that it was actually sour wine, and a further torment.

I think it was a mistake for Mel Gibson to focus on the physical suffering of Jesus rather than the spiritual suffering of Jesus. After all, anyone can go through physical torment. Physical torment is shallow, and the sort of thing that happens to the hero of an action movie (Bruce Willis walking on broken glass in Die Hard, or Mel himself getting gutted at the end of Braveheart are two good examples,) but only a Jesus-figure could have withstood the emotional torment that must have gone along with the knowledge that you *have* to die to save mankind. Unfortunately, Gibson decides to minimize that spiritual at best, and at other times to leave it out entirely.

The worst part was when Jesus was dying on the cross, and goes from an anguished "My father, why have you forsaken me," to an understanding 'It is accomplished" in a nanosecond. The character has made a huge reversal, suddenly understanding and accepting his fate fully, and we get zero insight into what is going on in his head. We can't even see his expression through all the grime and bloody gunk on his face.

I didn't get it. But maybe that's why I'm an athiest.

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