So I’ve had a lot of Jesus in my life lately. Not so much that my life is all good and miracle filled, but I recently saw Jesus Christ Superstar and then Netflix decided any movie released in the past six months on blu-ray was just not available enough for me, so I got The Passion of the Christ over so, so many movies.
Let’s just start it all off by saying, regardless of his life views on whatever, Mel Gibson knows how to visually tell a story. Between this movie and Apocalypto [Blu-ray | DVD] he has put together a lot of amazing visuals. While the violence in this movie was graphic, I don’t think it was gratuitous. Well at least 99% of it.
I think this movies stands as a pretty compelling movie, even apart from the religious basis. I mean whatever you think of religion, the Bible is a book of stories and a lot of good stories at that. So the source material obviously is good stuff.
I had some problems with this movie though (to those who know me, surprise, surprise). I don’t think Jesus survives to the cross. Given how much physical torture the man is put through, I just don’t see him making it to the cross alive. I mean, sheesh, you could see the dude’s ribs. Not like he’s so skinny you can see his ribs, like YOU CAN SEE THE FUCKING BONES!!! THE ACTUAL BONES!!! Second big problem, huge problem is the resurrection scene. Let’s just say it everything happened like it happened in the flick (seeing as how this is supposed to be the most literal telling of the crucifixion story, more on this later). When Jesus is resurrected, he’s all better, but the holes in in hands remain! Why?! Every other wound (and there were some horrible wounds) are healed and gone. Like it never happened. But the holes, why? I just don’t understand it. Maybe there’s something that my Sunday school theological training hasn’t taught me, but seriously, if all can be healed, why not the hands?
Okay, other problems, based on this being the most literal telling of this story. For a literal telling, down to using the original languages and all of that, there was certainly a lot of the devil and spirits and all of that kind of stuff. My other problem with the movie isn’t so much with the movie, but the source story. So basically the “white” people (the Romans) recognized Jesus as holy and the “minorities” (the Jews) don’t? I realize it’s the story. And even in the movie, tons of Romans being terrible while there are Jews pleading for Jesus, but the basic opposing forces in the argument is the “white” people recognized special and wanted to follow the laws and the “minorities” were lawless, rioting people who wanted to kill the son of God. I’m sure a detailed history/examination of Christianity would probably explain a lot of it.
Moving on, so was the earthquake and storm the last act of an active God? I’m just asking. Because from Jesus forward we’re supposed to get to God via Jesus. And from between the Old Testament and the New Testament God went underground and wasn’t all showing off and whatnot.
And I guess as a last incendiary matter or two really. This movie just shows even more how much the institution of the church just distorts things and is self-serving. The pharisees and the church were threatened by Jesus so they did what they had to do to twist things and have the Romans kill him, even when apparently he did NOTHING that was against the law or anything that was worthy of a death sentence. I think this sort of thing went on then, goes on now, and went on in between. The church is a power position. And if nothing else, institutions in power want to REMAIN in power. Last point, I felt this watching Jesus Christ Superstar and again watching this movie, and I’m not saying Christianity is a cult, but you can see elements of it. Watching this story, it’s a charismatic leader saying he knows the answers, he tells the truth, that he is the path to enlightenment or heaven or whatever. And people following. Following to death (so they claim) and where ever else the leader leads. Even in the face of common sense and public opinion (not that either of these two things dictates truth). Just saying…
Anyways, back to the movie. Great acting. Great. Across the board, save maybe Herod. Hard movie to watch because of the graphic nature of the violence, but worthwhile to watch I think.