To: Rutles4Ever; All
Movie Review: Mel Gibson`s Passion
SeaMax News | 2/24/2004 | Fr. Michael Reilly
If art conveys beauty, truth, and powerful emotions, then Mel Gibson is the Michelangelo of the twenty-first century.
Gibson and his crew used powerful imagery, artistic imagination, and expert cinematography to accurately portray the sufferings of Jesus as recounted in the Gospels and in tradition.
"It is as it was," in the words of Pope John Paul II. The movie opens with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsamane and concludes with his resurrection.
Some pointed features:
To emphasize the centrality of Jesus' passion, the rest of Jesus' life is recounted only in flashbacks. For example, as Jesus is forgiving the Roman soldiers who brutalized him, there is a flashback to Jesus teaching about love of enemies.
As the Stations of the Cross reflect Jesus' suffering through the eyes of Mary, Gibson shows us Mary's reaction to everything that happens to Jesus. After Jesus, Mary is the most important person in the film.
Gibson shows the devil moving behind the scenes to engineer the death of the Messiah, only to be duped into engineering his own defeat.
Unique details from each of the four gospels are used as well as unique details from the Stations of the Cross, such as Jesus meeting his mother, Veronica wiping his face with her veil, and his several falls while carrying the cross. This allows for a very rich portrait of the Passion that can touch many people.
Who is guilty of the crime of killing Christ? Everyone. The devil orchestrates it. Judas betrays him. Peter denies him. The leaders of the Jews hand him over. Pilate orders it and the Roman soldiers carry it out with fierce brutality. But Gibson emphasizes that the guilt extends beyond the characters in the movie to each of us as we kill Christ with our sins. Mel actually holds the nail which pierces Jesus hand.
Will this film inspire ant-Semitism? I can't see how. The film evokes deep and powerful emotions, but anger and hatred are not among them. No one who watches this film could be moved to hatred of anyone, but rather the viewer is moved to practice Jesus message of love.
Are the Jewish leaders the villains? Caiphas the High Priest and his cohorts are villains, but Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea defend Jesus at his trial. Gibson also embellishes the role of Simon of Cyrene, a Jew who helps Jesus carry the cross and is visibly moved by Jesus suffering.
In point of fact, the sheer brutality and sadism of the Roman soldiers is far more striking than the role of the Jewish leaders.
In short, Mel Gibson has given us a very moving and powerful image of Jesus crucifixion and death, a portrait that will make a deep and lasting impression for generations to come.
posted on 02/24/2004 12:39:54 PM PST
Will this film inspire ant-Semitism? I can't see how. The film evokes deep and powerful emotions, but anger and hatred are not among them.
So you have seen it?
posted on 02/24/2004 1:46:24 PM PST
("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." GW Bush 1-20-04)
To: Liz; *Catholic_list
Thanks for posting that Liz.
posted on 02/24/2004 10:45:07 PM PST
(†With God all things are possible.†)
Is the ressurection part of the film. If not I would like to ask Mr. Gibson why as the ressurection is the completion of the Passion not only the death and suffering. Without the ressurection the message of the passion is unclear or incomplete. It is God's YES to what Jesus did on the cross.
posted on 02/25/2004 6:50:10 PM PST
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