The Passion of the Christ Reviews
Therein lies the problem. The overwhelming majority of dislike - or more often hatred - of the Passion comes from reviewers who admittedly are not Christians and who find overt expressions of faith to be distasteful. They don't get why Christians believe what they believe, and they clearly don't share Christian viewpoints. So is it possible for non-Christians to objectively review overtly Christian films? I believe it is, but it requires a level of empathy and objectivity that a surprising number of professional journalists struggle to exercise.
In the case of The Passion of the Christ, what Mr. Rosenbaum does not grasp is that for a Christian, the actual passion of Jesus Christ, while being horrific in its nature, is a beautiful thing because it provides the Christian with their salvation. Without Jesus going through the barbaric Roman torture, there would be no foundation for the Christian faith.
So is Mr. Rosenbaum's argument with the movie or with the faith? Or is it with both? The Passion of the Christ, frankly, doesn't go as far in its depiction of the Roman act of crucifixion as it could have gone. For example, the scourging of Christ very likely left much less flesh on his body than the movie showed. And if the actual crucifixion had been accurately shown, Jesus would have been fully naked instead of being left with a meager loincloth. The unadulterated crucifixion would have resulted in an NC-17 rating instead of the movie's eventual R rating.
Whether Mel Gibson is an antisemite or not, those views are not transmitted through this film, as others have opined. The historical record shows that Jews conspired to kill Jesus and that Romans carried out the execution. No one really came off well in the whole affair - not the Jewish religious leaders, not the Roman prefect, not the soldiers who abused him on the way to the cross, not the crowd and not his own disciples. The only hero in the film and in real life is Jesus himself, who in the film - and almost assuredly in real life - was barely recognizable by the time of his death.
Mr. Gibson, in his depiction of one of the worst moments in history, hoped to make a statement of his faith that he hoped others would be able to share. In my opinion, he was enormously successful. Every aspect of The Passion of the Christ is finely crafted, from the performances by its largely unknown cast to the amazing score by John Debney, the picturesque cinematography and the all-too-real makeup (all three of which were nominated for Academy Awards). The result is Gibson's finest work to date, with the possible exception of the recent Hacksaw Ridge (another movie that is both incredibly violent and yet incredibly brimming with faith).
The Passion of the Christ is not an easy film to watch, and for moviegoers wanting some light religious fare to enjoy during Holy Week, perhaps they should choose a less offensive film like The Greatest Story Ever Told. However, for those hoping to get the truest depiction of what Jesus endured on that first Good Friday, there is no finer film available.
And he surpassed all expectation.
Brutal parts. Biblically accurate.
I want to watch it every Good Friday, it is very hard to watch
at the end, but it is a part of history.
The Romans were brutal Godless people.
I probably rated this movie fairly low primarily because it's not what I would prefer to see in a movie about Jesus. It doesn't quite fit my perspective on what is the most interesting and relevant contribution of Jesus.
Was his death the most important thing? Or his teachings? People followed him because words gave hope and guidance in a harsh and rigid world where Romans ruled and women were stoned to death for adultery, and punishments for various crimes were harsh. The Romans tortured and crucified a lot of people. Their empire was built on the backs of slaves captured in war. Many wars were fought solely for the purpose of bringing more slaves to the empire. Oops digressing.
Jesus was a Pacifist whose teachings bring to mind the achievements of Ghandi, Mandela, and Martin Luther King.
Love your neighbor as yourself. If someone hits your right cheek, turn and let him hit your left cheek also. Greater love has no man than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends. Do unto others as you would have done to you. It is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. (To a rich man) Give everything you have to the poor. All Jesus's words, not mine. If he lived in the modern day, what would Jesus probably say? Well, that's open to interpretation isn't it?
My original post from 8 months ago:
Jesus Christ of Nazareth has inspired a lot of movies.The Passion of the Christ is one of them, which happens to be one of the top-grossing movies of all time.
Well, this movie is Mel Gibson's take on the end of Jesus's life. Mel Gibson knows how to make torture and suffering look real.
History tells us the Romans really were that brutal.
I see an attempt to be true to the Biblical account. The three crosses scene, with Jesus and the 2 others to his left and right, seemed surreal and somehow very artistic. The lighting of the skies even made that scene look almost like a painting by one of the Great Masters. Jim Caviezel's classic Latin Jesus look contributes to the artistic effect.
But did I like it overall? No, not really. Unpleasantly brutal to watch.