The Passion of Christ
I watched The Passion of Christ over the last couple of nights.
No, I do not make a habit of watching movies split over nights. But this time, the er.. brutality was way too much to handle at one sitting.
Admittedly, it is like no other movie I have ever watched before. I abhor violence -especially of the mindless variety. And if it had been any other movie I'd have walked out of the theatre or plain switched off the TV. But I did not do that this time. Or rather, I did turn off the TV. But switched it on again the next night. I kept coming back to that brutality, as if transfixed by the violence.
What amazed me completely, was the way I was convinced -right through- of the reality of the scenes unfolding in the movie. With violence, I generally feel a sense of distance. I guess it is one way I handle what happens on screen - with the sheath of disbelief. But this time, the Roman/Jewish violence WAS so believable. And I do not mean only the lashings or floggings. The swell of hate from the Jewish mob waiting to condemn Jesus of Nazareth, nearly brought my dinner up.
Why was it believable? Perhaps, because Christ himself was so much more believable! Despite all his passion and new found evangelism, Mel Gibson, still manages to give me Christ who is more human; Mary, who seems more mother-like while looking angelic; Mary Magdalene fresh, young and sorrowful; Peter, disgusted with his own betrayal. Except for the single event where Jesus restores the severed ear of the Roman soldier, he is beaten, battered, crucified, nay, slaughtered, certainly no prophet, no miracle maker.
Therefore, while I cringed at the violence and shook with the impact, I still thought it was the classiest film on the passion of Christ I've ever seen, or will see. After 17 years of convent education, which gave me ample time to study Christianity in the appropriate atmosphere, I'm convinced Mel Gibson brings us closer to what could have happened to Jesus Christ. Had Jesus Christ ever happened at all.