Fredís No Clue Movie Review

ďThe Passion of the ChristĒ
Directed by Mel Gibson

    I must admit that I had heard all the controversy before
 going to see this movie. I read some reviews, which I
rarely do, before seeing the film. I thought, a subtitled
film in a dead language about the bible. Whoís gonna
want to see this? Apparently everyone. My screening of
the film was jam-packed. I came out of the theater after
the movie both impressed and moved.

    Mel Gibson has created a fantastic film that manages to
very accurately portray the biblical images of the last hours
of Jesus Christ. I had to look away a couple of times, due to
the brutality of the movie. I feel that this is probably some
of the most horrific realistic violence that Iíve ever seen
portrayed on film. Saying that, by being so brutal it is also
very effective. Mr. Gibson has said that he wanted to show
ďthe passionĒ or what Christians consider the sacrifice of
Jesus to die for the forgiveness of our sins. If you have a
Christian background upbringing, as I did (I was raised in
the Lutheran faith), I think this movie makes you feel like
youíve just experienced a very effective sermon in church.
The violence is not for the squeamish and in my opinion;
young children shouldnít see the film. The film is relentless in
showing the beating, the blood, the scars, and the brutal
death of Christ. I was glad to see the flashbacks to the Last
Supper and some other moments in Jesusí life to break up
the violence. Without these moments, it couldíve become a
downright depressing and hard to watch movie. I think Gibson
has a good pacing in his editing of these flashbacks and puts
them into the main story at the right moments for maximum impact.

    From a mere filmic view, Gibson crafts a film that can be viewed
and understood without viewing the subtitles. The images created here
are both heart wrenching and powerful. The cinematography, the lighting,
costuming and especially the makeup are first rate. These elements really
effectively bring you into the story. I donít think you have a choice but to feel
something when you exit the theater after viewing the film.  Making the movie
and filming it in Aramaic and Latin with English subtitles was a huge risk I think. It hasnít seemed to slow down the popularity of the movie, which I find absolutely amazing and unprecedented in modern Hollywood.

    The performances in the movie are fantastic. Gibson gets a career making performance out of Jim Caviezel who plays Jesus. Caviezel just embodies Christ and makes the audience feel his pain every step of the way. He also never loses Christís compassion for humanity. He manages to show in his eyes, both fear and confidence. Heís able to make the audience feel that Jesus feels that his pain is serving a purpose for humanity and that he was born to do this. I was completely impressed with Caviezel on many levels and he deserves many accolades for his performance and his courage in wanting to do this role in the first place. The rest of the cast is filled with Hollywood unknowns who Gibson directs to very confident and haunting performances. The only other cast member that anyone might be familiar with is Monica Belluci who plays Mary Magdalene. You may remember her as Persephone, from the last two ďMatrixĒ movies.

    I donít think the movie is perfect. I didnít like how Gibson made Pontius Pilate out to be a conflicted individual who went to great lengths to prevent Christís death, or how his wife was attempting to sway him to save Jesus. I feel this way more for a religious feeling than a filmic one. I feel that Pilate was maybe slightly conflicted or just surprised that the crowd and priests wanted to sentence Jesus to die on the Cross. But he was a powerful ruler and executioner from what I remember hearing about him in my church. I also donít think that the movie needed the depictions of Satan. I guess itís only a slightly effective device for me in the film. Satan is supposed to represent a fight against evil for Jesus, but I think that his suffering is so accurately depicted that you donít need that image or embodiment of Satan to realize why Jesus was going through his suffering.

    Mel Gibson has created a very moving and impressive film that should become a classic. It will most definitely be viewed for years to come around Easter time. For Christians, this is not only a movie, but also a religious type of experience. I came out of the theater wanting to read my bible, wanting to see what Gibson took more creative license with in the film and what was more directly lifted from scriptures. I highly recommend viewing this film and sincerely hope that you enjoy it regardless of your religious background.

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Come back soon, until then, Iíll be at the movies