The Passion of the Christ
|Our Feature Presentation|
We follow Jesus as he is arrested, cruelly kicked, thrown over the side of a bridge, wildly whipped, hugely humiliated, piously punched, whipped a bit more, screams, is whipped even more, screams again, is scourged with a cat o' nine tails (a nice little touch is a bit where the cat o' nines lodge in his ribs. A quick-thinking Roman centurion simply pulls them out, bringing chunks of flesh and bone with them. Sweet, dude!).
There are also a couple of (very short) flashbacks in between all the bloodshed telling us about love and brotherhood and helping humanity and, y'know, namby-pamby stuff like that. Luckily, Gibson realized this stuff was too tame and exorcised it (tee-hee) wherever he could from the film.
Instead, we get to see Jesus, Prince of Peace, Son of Man, Prophet Of Love, Brotherhood, Friendship, and Loyalty, having the shit kicked out of him for the best part of two hours. Anyone who comes away from the film with a full understanding of Christ's message was probably watching the wrong film.
The film ends, more or less, when Jesus expires on the cross. Satan, who has spent the rest of the film wandering around Jerusalem looking all Satan-y, now looks very pissed off (but in a Satan-y sort of way) because God is dead and he...didn't...er...want God to die...yeah, we'll just leave that bit for now.
The final scene shows Jesus in the tomb, resurrected, and ready to kick some non-Christian ass. Yeah, dude, awesome!
|Francesco De Vito||Peter|
|Monica Bellucci||Mary Magdalene|
|Hristo Shopov||Pontius Pilate|
 Difference between film and novel
- Christ, from Matthew 5:43-47: You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?
- Christ, from The Passion: AGGGH! Oh, me, oh, me, is that a crown of thorns?! Is it?! What...what...what are you...geeeeaaaaaggghhhhhhhh! Aggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
- Christ, from Matthew 7:12: Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
- Christ, from The Passion: Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuugggggghhhhhhhhh! Agggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Oh, man, Mel Gibson is so gonna make an anti-Semitic propaganda film about this one day!
The film holds a score of 50% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. That means 50% of critics liked it. Which while by no means proof of God, is surely proof of Satan's existence. Also the Campus Crusade for Christ did not particularly like it. They sued claiming copyright infringement, saying they made a similar film.
The film isn't dangerous in and of itself because of the violence. It is dangerous because it takes Christ's message and tosses it out of a very high window where it splatters in an unrighteous mess on the unforgiving cobbles below.
Let's say for the sake of argument that Christ really was the Son of God. From his teachings in the New Testament, we learn much about God as a being of intelligence. God hates violence. God hates fundamentalism. God hates misinterpretation – especially deliberate misinterpretation. God did not send Jesus to die on the cross and nothing else. He sent him to preach tolerance and forgiveness, die on the cross, and then be reborn. Sort of like Tyler Durden's philosophy: "Lose everything and you're free to do anything." It's a metaphor for our own lives.
In other words, a very Buddhist sort of philosophy. Struggle, conquer your demons, and be reborn as a better person. No need to follow others' gods. Simply trust in yourself to do the right thing when it's most needed. But if you must, you can ask God, or his secretaries in the church, for guidance, because God doesn't judge, doesn't guilt trip, and definitely doesn't resort to emotional blackmail. God is there if you need him. If you don't, more power to you.
If you want a film which accurately examines the power of faith in the face of despair, try Schindler's List, or even The Exorcist.
In contrast, The Passion seems to say: This guy was beaten within an inch of his life and nailed to a piece of wood so you could have your iPod. You must admit you are guilty of a human sacrifice which happened 2,000 years before you were born and join a church to prove you want forgiveness.
To which the rational rightly respond: "No thanks."
If, on the other hand, we consider the proposition, "Christ was the son of God" to be simply laughable, then the film is simply a pointless, thoroughly unpleasant, blood-splattered gore-fest, and little more than a thinly-veiled snuff film. Unless you're into that sort of thing, in which case the film may well have some merit, albeit not the merit that Mel Gibson had in mind.