passion of the christ
What can be said about Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ
that has not been said?
I first heard about this movie
what seems like ages ago and now it has finally made its way
to the States after being viewed in even the holiest of holies,
The Vatican. Getting the thumbs up from the Pope Gibson brings
this epic tale to mass audiences and the controversy, and
praise, is ready to begin.
As a believer myself, I can tell
you that this story moved me to the core. Told with such,
dare I say, "passion" The Passion of the Christ
blends brilliant acting, directing and atmosphere to one of
the most popular stories ever told.
Gibson took his time in creating
this project, which he began almost 12 years ago, and didn't
miss a single detail. All the way down to the language being
spoken as all the characters in the film are heard speaking
the languages they would have used at the time.
Jewish characters, Christ and
his followers use Aramaic, while the Romans use, what is termed "street Latin." As well the costumes designed were
hand-crafted and the cinematography was made to look like
the paintings of Italian Baroque artist Caravaggio.
The Passion is undeniably Gibson
in the way the story flows and his gruesome portrayal of the
condemnation of Jesus to his final moments on the cross. This
film is not for those with weak stomachs and I would not recommend
bringing any one under the age of 17 to see this film as you
will need to be prepared to see the nail being driven through
Christ's hand and through the cross as blood flows from its
tip, and that is nothing compared to the scenes where Jesus
is whipped and tortured with a device made of several leather
straps and each strap embedded with barbed metal tips, used
to tear at the skin.
I can tell you now that I loved
it and was almost brought to tears in certain scenes that
will undoubtedly have several audience members reaching for
their Kleenex. Jim Caviezel brings Christ to life and gives
him human form.
But the difference with this
movie is that for those who do not believe in the stories
told by the Bible, or could care less, they will not find
the same satisfaction. With the entire story being based on
the four Gospels of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke
and John) there is really no deviation from the story that
has been told through the ages, leaving non-believers on the
Gibson has said that his ultimate
goal for this film is for it to "inspire tolerances,
love and forgiveness." Unfortunately for those that who
do not believe in the message being delivered or the story
being told it is going to be no more than a fictional account
of a man they do not believe to be the Son of God. As for
those that don't believe in God altogether, well I don't anticipate
on them seeing the film at all, and I wouldn't expect them
to convert based on what they see.
The Passion of the Christ is
definitely a touching and deeply emotional epic that I will
no doubt want to watch at least once a year to reaffirm my
beliefs, but I can understand the views of those that disregard
it as fiction.
The biggest question that flows
through my mind now is whether or not this film will fall
into next year's Oscar race. The performances and the film
are no doubt deserved of recognition, but with so much controversy
surrounding the flick even before it is released you have
to wonder what would happen if the film industry's most hallowed
award were given to, what could be deemed as the most controversial
I guess we will just have to
wait and see.