Friday, April 06, 2007

Passion of the Christ

Staring: James Caviezel, Maia Morgenstern, Christo Jivkov, Francesco De Vito, Monica Bellucci
Director: Mel Gibson

With it being Good Friday, I’ve decided to review a fitting film. If I have time look forward to two more fitting films this weekend.

So this little film from 2004 stroked up a lot of controversy. Personally a lot of it was undue, especially after finally seeing it months after it was initially released.

People decried it for being “anti-Semitic”, and that it would bring on a rash of anti-Jewish hate across the country. Not surprisingly, it didn’t happen. I think it’s because people underestimated the intelligence of the people viewing this film. An unintelligent “point” that I kept hearing after the film was release was “Well the Jews did kill Jesus”, which is simplistic at best, and dangerously stupid at worst. One first must know at least a little about the history about what went on. The Jewish leaders, who were afraid of Jesus’ perceived “power” were fearful of who he was, and who he could become. They were instrumental in having him arrested and getting the mob to free Barabbas instead. The arrogance of many of these people also wash over that ALL of Jesus’ followers were Jewish, along with Jesus as well. Christianity was a sect of Judaism until people like Paul the Apostle began to convert people outside Judaism. Anyway, back away from that tangent, the only people who would be “conned” into inciting hatred towards the Jewish people would have been people who already had an axe to grind with them in the first place. Seeing this film would not have changed someone’s mind either way.

If people weren’t using excuse one (above), they were using the “violence” excuse. It was brutal in it’s portrayal. Some movie reviewers claimed it was the “most violent” film they had ever seen. Highly unlikely, unless their entire library of films they’ve reviewed were all Disney animated films. As I said, it was brutal, but within that it was honest, and wasn’t over the top for over the top’s sake, which is pretty much what you get with people like Quentin Tarantino or schlock-horror “directors” like Eli Roth.

Say what you will about it, but there’s little doubt that the cinematography and editing of this film is near brilliant. And was entirely filmed using only Aramaic, Latin, and Hebrew. A feat of modern filmmaking.

Verdict: ****/*****

1 comment:

Matt Ramone said...

"Most violent film ever?" Did they not see Reservoir Dogs?