The Passion of the Christ (review/spoilers)

I had very little desire to see this film, but Larri and I decided to see it on Good Friday. I really didn’t want to see this because I thought it would be too painful and traumatic. The thought of seeing Jesus suffer for two hours did not appeal to me at all. But it was Good Friday, and I thoght it would be good to remember and “experience” what it might have been like.

What did you think of the film? Do you have any interest in seeing the film? Why or why not?

I started to get emotional in the first five minutes of the film, and tha wasn’t a good sign. But excpet for a few scenes, the film didn’t really “crush” me in the way that I thought it might.

Several things I liked: I liked that it was in Aramaic and Roman (Latin?). That added a nice feel to the film. It’s sort of like watching a foreign film with subtitles versus dubbed.

I liked seeing Jesus and hearing His words. I’m not so strong spiritually that I don’t want to see him (and touch him, if that were possible). That makes a difference to me. The film reiterated what a great man He was and is.

What I didn’t like:

Well, I thought the gore and violence was a bit of a bit much. At a certain point, it almost took away from the impact of the violence done upon Jesus. I got sort of jaded, perhaps. I think the adage “less is more” applies in this movie.

Some things I’m ambivalent about:

I wished I could have seen more of the Gospel story in the filim. I know this focussed on His crucifixion, but I wonder about the reasoning behind focussing on this–other than the fact that Gibson seems drawn to charcters that go through pain.

I mean, how can you see a film about the crucifixion without the resurrection? I think of Paul’s comments about how if there was no resurrection, then Christians are the most pitiful lot in the world, or something to that effect.

What are pros for focussing almost exclusively on the crucifixion?

How does the movie help Christianity? How does it hurt Christianity?

6 Responses to “The Passion of the Christ (review/spoilers)”

  1. joel

    I think it’s a good reminder of what kind of sacrifice Jesus really made for us. I know this film has been dissected to death. People are really concerned about the message being portrayed in this film. Is it accurate? Is it nessasary? Is it offensive? But the most important thing I got out of the film was that ultimately it’s a sacrifice. I can remember looking at some parts of the film and saying to myself, “come on! there is no way anybody could handle that much punishment and torture and still be able to walk much less carry a cross? even part of the way??” It just reminded me that even if it was some sort of “exageration” of what happend the message and point are clear–sacrifice.

    I can see what Reid is saying…How can you have the crucifixion without the ressurection? But would that take away from the theme of Sacrifice? I mean the movie was long enough would extending it another hour or so just be to much for one sitting? I guess you could say there should be a part II? Maybe you’d rather Gibson shorten the crucifixion so he could add the work He did after? It’s a valid point, but I personally felt that sacrifice without showing “what happens after” made me focus on his sacrifice. For the non Christians of the world or the people not familiar with the story I can see how it would be a problem. How can you truely know what Jesus was making a sacrifice for? But for me personally, I know, and I think a lot of people know as well. It’s kind of like watching sequels or prequels to movies. Some characters already have a history that we’re familar with. I think a lot of people are familar with the story of Jesus so not explaining his life after the ressurection wasn’t so important.

    I say this not to devalue or desensitize other aspects of Jesus’s life. I say it because It’s not important to the act of sacrifice being shown. We all look upon the bible and take stories, parables, lessons, and try to apply them to our own. When we do we must look upon the bigger picture as well as the smaller one constantly. I’m just saying that focusing on His crucifixion helped me to focus on His sacrifice for me, and how much of an act of love it truely was–knowing what I know from His story.

  2. Reid

    I agree the focus was on the tremendous sacrifice Christ made. But I still can’t help feeling a sense of the story being incomplete.

    In addition, perhaps I don’t value the movie as much because I knew about the scourging. Yes, I never saw it, but I heard described in great detail.

    And I wonder if showing all of this graphic violence is a good thing. You can argue that it’s what really happened. You could also say that the violence may draw people in, and that since the movie delivers a powerful message, the ends justify the means. I’m not really sure where I stand, but I tend not to have a problem with these things.

    One of the scenes I liked was when Mary goes over to help Jesus and Jesus says, “Behold mother, I make all things new.” I get choked up writing about it! Once again, it’s that irony of God that is present: the ultimate creation in an act of destruction. Just when you think God is letting you down or something terrible is happening, God is really doing something great! This is the story of “Fooprints” and even in It’s a Wonderful Life.

  3. pen

    I finally saw this movie last week. I saw it with my parents: my mom who is a Christian and is familiar with most of the story and my dad who is not a Christian and is fairly unfamiliar with the story.

    In the beginning it was horrifying and sickening and I had a strong visceral reaction. By the end, I am ashamed to admit I was getting a bit desensitized to all the violence. The “unreality” of it all really began to distract me, too. Like after all that beating Christ had to carry the cross, and they’re beating Him, but they didn’t seem to be beating the other two guys.

    The part that was also truly agonizing was when Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.

    I think this movie is really for Beleivers or at least those that have a basic understanding of Christianity. If not, I think it won’t mean much, because they never even really explain why He is willing to go through all that.

  4. Reid

    I was starting to come undone during the Gethsame scene, and I thought, “Uh-oh, I’m not going to make it through this film.”

    I would be interested to know the impact the film has had on non-Christians (particularly those that no very little about the gospels). Perhaps, the movie has lead them to ask questions, such as, Why did Christ have to suffer and die?

    If the movie got people to ask and explore that question, I think that’s a pretty cool thing.

  5. joel

    I just reread my brother’s comments to my thread on the movie and I would have to agree with him in that the movie does feel “incomplete.” But I feel that that’s the lure or interest we have in Christ and why we want to know more about Him.

    Why would a man rejected by the world want to give up the only possession He has–His life–for the people of the world? We want to know how can one person possess such selflessness? such sacrifice? such love? We’re left unsatisfied until the other parts of Jesus’s life are explored. So that we may find logic in it, learn from it, and possibly/hopefully (depending on your perspective) follow it ourselves?

  6. Reid

    Yeah. Well, I’ve heard that either Gibson (or maybe other people suggested this) that the movie would inspire people to find the answers to these questions on their own.

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