Saturday, September 25, 2004

The Passion of The Christ Has Been Watched

Over the weekend, I rented and finally watched The Passion of The Christ. Did it change my life? No. Do I ever want to watch it again? No. Is it a good movie? Well, that's up for debate.

First, I have to say that it took a lot of guts for Mel Gibson to do a movie like this. Not because it's about Jesus (as the story of Christ has been done in many different ways), but because it's arguably the bloodiest and (in some respects) most realistic portrayal of Christ's death. The film looks very nice and the special effects and makeup are extraordinary. The music fits the film very well and the performances are not bad considering that the actors are speaking in languages that none of them know. Also, the film is not slow moving, despite its two-hour length.

As for the claims of anti-semitism in the film...well, I can see why people would think that. Pilate is made out to be sympathetic and reluctant to kill Jesus. The Jewish High Court (and the mass of Jews that go with them) are made to be cruel enough to feel that mere beatings are not enough and that He must be crucified. The sympathetic Jews are shown though, people like Simon, the man who helped Jesus carry the cross. However, the Romans are made out to be much more cruel than the Jews. The Roman soldiers are sadomasochists as they seem to enjoy torturing Jesus. So, I guess maybe it balances out.

Honestly, though, as I watched the film, I couldn't help and ask questions. Simply, why does this film focus solely on Jesus's death? We get very little of the events that precede His death and very little of what follows. I'm assuming that the focus is on the crucifixation because without it, none of us would be able to get into Heaven. But if you don't follow Christ's teachings, you can't get into heaven anyway. Why is it that His actual teachings and actions are lost in the shuffle? I worry that if we focus so much on His death, we will forget things like the Beautitudes, and the parables. I believe that for some Christians, this has already happened.

If you are a Christian, then you should not downplay or underestimate the importance of Christ's death. However, Jesus's death would not be important and our sins would not be forgiven if he had not lived first.

Ultimately, I can't say that I liked this film. It's a well-made film that will provoke a response one way or the other. It can seem a little overdramatic at times, but given the subject matter, it makes sense. If anything, this film made me remember and think about what I have learned from going to church. And that, at the very least, is a good thing.

1 comment:

  1. :sighs and rolls eyes: Over analytical as usual.