I’m not a religious person. In fact, I’m fairly anti-religious. However, I don’t want to be one of those people to be anti-anything without first having some kind of understanding of it. So, seeing this movie seemed to be a necessary thing for me to do.
First of all, I was impressed by a couple of things about this movie. All of the dialogue was spoken in the dialects that were native to the period and region. Roman characters spoke Latin, and Jewish characters spoke Western Aramaic. I felt that this immersed us in the space and time of the film, and added significantly to its realism. The effort that the cast put into learning to speak these ancient, “dead” languages convincingly paid off immensely.
I also liked the portrayal of Jesus as an olive-skinned, dark-haired, dark-eyed man. Western media has traditionally portrayed him as blonde and blue-eyed, which is rather unrealistic considering his Middle Eastern heritage. What I find interesting is that in some of the stills from www.thepassionofthechrist.com, Jesus has blue eyes. Maybe it was a last minute decision to digitally alter the color of the actor’s eyes to a more realistic hue.
Cinematography and music were fitting for the film. It had an epic sense. Lighting was dramatic and theatrical. Settings and costume were convincing too.
I believe that every film is a communication of some sort. Some films have a very simple communication: to tell a joke, to briefly entertain, to distract us from reality. But some films have a more complex communication: to lampoon a social flaw, to expose a conspiracy, to teach a lesson. The Passion of the Christ is obviously one of the latter.
Now, I understand that “passion” in this context is synonymous with “suffering,” but I think the film’s ultra-violent portrayal of Christ’s suffering is what will ultimately make it fail. I mean, this film was the most realistically and gut-wrenchingly violent that I’ve ever seen. To the credit of the filmmakers and James Caviezel’s acting, Christ’s suffering is truly tangible. It continues almost unabated for 75% of the movie. It’s broken up only by short flashback segments that illustrate relevant portions of scripture. If the film is meant to educate, it should be accessible to the greatest number of people possible. This level of violence is simply too much for the average moviegoer to tolerate. I think it was telling that the theatre only had about 30 people in it, on a Thursday night the week after the premiere of the film. And I’m certain that the word-of-mouth about the film’s violent content was what kept a lot of people away. Nonetheless, The Passion of the Christ is bound to be one of the most talked-about films of the year.
i haven’t seen it yet, and i will, but in general i of course doubt if realistic violence could be a bad thing or a mistake. it could keep ppl away from the theatre (which it hasn’t really, i read it’s broken some records already) and keep them from learning something greáter, but those who step in might for once see realistic violence instead of the hollywood bullshit that we’re often fed. and i consider that a huge lesson as well. something we can live without for sure, but this subject is close to my heart for some reason so… i always enjoy when i can trick someone into seeing something violent and they get all upset. i don’t reaaally trick ppl but if somehow they’ve fallen to the trap, i’m happy. i guess we all have out ‘thing’, erm. well maybe i shouldn’t say more before seeig the movie itself.
yeah i think the record breaking crowds were a result of the advanced hype of the film. but its longevity will be the test of its ultimate success.
I started typing the comment up and realized just how long it is. So just go blog
What I find interesting, not being religious myself, is how pain and suffering is not related to ‘heavenly acts’ in the bible. Now, when religious leaders speak of sin and going to ‘hell’ they can describe some pretty nasty scenes. But they are talking to us in a way we can relate in today’s society. We are surrounded by pain and suffering in practically every news cast. So basically, we ARE human, and in a way we relate VERY well to pain.
So, for the son of God, or God himself being human, to experience life in the flesh, it would seem pretty obvious that he would have experienced pain just as any other human would have being punished the way it was popular back then. I don’t know for sure, but being crucified seems like a pretty nasty way of exiting this world to go on to the next. So for me, I think the movie represents what Christ REALLY went through in ‘dying for our sins’. At least, makes sense in MY head. And as far as I’m concerned, BRAVO Mel for telling this story … it’s a version we’ve never seen before.
violence, shmoilence, I really enjoy epic films and I really want to see this.. it would be nice to see in theatres, but that would require it still being in theatres in guelph in 1 1/2 months… ah well.