The Passion of the ChristHere it is.  The big controversial movie directed by Mel Gibson that supposedly blames Jews for killing Jesus.  After seeing it, letís just say that the last thing on my mind was, ďHey!  I got to go beat up a Jew!Ē.  Far from it.  Amidst wiping tears from my eyes, I just sat there stunned at how powerful this movie was.  The notion that God came to Earth in the form of a man, to be tortured, beaten, crucified and killed for the redemption of the sins of humanity is amazing enough.  The portrayal of these events in such a graphic and violent manner takes it up a level.   

So letís start with that.  Yes, this is a bloody movie.  The scourging scene and the crucifixion are those that will be remembered for the ages.  Each one is intense in its own right.  Seeing a man beaten and whipped mercilessly almost to the point of death up close and personal is one thing in terms of violence and gore.  Itís an instant reaction of making most people wince and cringe up when the cat of nine tails embeds itself in the flesh and rips off bloody chunks of meat.  However, the crucifixion scene is intense in another way.  Youíre not seeing a man being mauled by Roman soldiers while chained.  Rather, you are seeing a man reliving his life and going through the agony of feeling forsaken.  Sure, as the nails are driven into his hands and feet, thatís part of the cringe factor, but the unspoken emotions that are portrayed, are way more intense.  I seriously doubt that anyone who watches this movie will walk away unaffected.  On some level you will be moved.  I'm getting a little choked up just writing this.

If you are even vaguely familiar with the biblical account of the final hours of Jesus, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect.  Basically, it starts out in the Garden of Gethsemane, goes through Jesus being brought before the religious leaders, being brought before Pontius Pilate, and finally the scourging and crucifixion.  There are a few things  in the movie that arenít in the Bible, which is where Mel Gibson took probably 90% of the story from, but these bits add to make things a bit more on a supernatural realm realized in the flesh.  Not to give too much away, but the personification of evil that follows Christ around, and the tormenting children are prime examples of this.  These give us just a little more insight of whatís on the other side of this physical dimension.  Also, an interesting aspect I saw in this movie is the relationship between Mary and Jesus.  A mother who loves her son from his days as a child until an adult.  Told in flashback sequences, itís just a different take on the events of the story.  Speaking of which, there are flashback scenes throughout the film.  Some of these give us a better perspective of what is currently going on.  For instance, instead of  playing out the whole Last Supper scene at the beginning of the movie, there are brief shots of this event which occurred just before where the movie starts.  Other flashbacks serve as a breather during the flogging and crucifixion scenes. 

As this film is spoken in Aramaic and Latin, there are subtitles.  Iím not a big fan of subtitled movies, but this movie isnít so bad.  Itís not like thereís huge lines of dialogue that youíre reading five screens of subtitles and not watching the movie.  The font is nice and bold so you can actually watch the movie and read at the same time.  Originally, there werenít going to be any subtitles, even though the movie is in dead languages, so theyíre a bonus. 

On a final note, just because this is a ďJesus MovieĒ, doesnít mean itís a nice happy piece of cinema worthy of extra butter on your popcorn.  Itís not King of Kings or Jesus of Nazareth, where Christís final hours are glossed over, and the crucifixion is viewer friendly.  This movie is Rated R for a reason.  If you want your kids to see it, I would seriously suggest you as a parent view it first and then make your decision as to whether or not it is appropriate.

The Passion of the Christ Website

RATING:  10/10

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