Hey folks, Harry here... Now we have Rav to chat a bit about the rather amazing film... THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST... here you go...
"The Icon Productions logo then, A blue shot of the back of a man slightly crouched forward in a forest mumbling to himself or something." That's how Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ (AKA The Passion) begins. In those first ten second's thoughts race through my head: I panic, it's being projected digitally, it just does not have the same epic presence that the trailers gave me online, I am worried that I may be in for a huge let-down. What the fuck is going on it's just a guy mumbling...Where is the subtitles? Has Mel Gibson gone crazy and just made an omega-code-like mess of mega proportions to preach to me, fuck I hope not. Well...I could just fucking sleep, if it sucks.
"The mumbler is revealed as Jesus, he begins to now talk with subtitles, a devil-like creature shows up with a snake" As the movie plays further more thoughts race through my head, this time considering all of hysteria around this production: Okay this film is supposed to go out of it's way to be anti-semetic. So...where are the nazis, how can you fricken make a jew-hating film without any Nazis? Thats like making a happy meal and forgetting the ham-burgler it doesn't make fucking sense. Okay and why isn't the devil Jewish, I mean if they really are wanting to go the jew-hating route, this isn't a good start.
All this garbage written about this film being anti-semetic is a bit annoying. I hate that I couldn't get into the film that easily because in the back of my mind I kept thinking whether or not every scene involving a jewish person is offensive. At times in the film I think a person could take one or two scenes and blow it totally out of proportion by over-analyzing single lines from jewish characters and then come to the conclusion that the film is anti-semetic. At no time in the film did I feel it bred anti-semitic feelings. Although there are Jewish characters that are the catalyst to the climax of the film, so are the ADL honestly trying to make the case that all Jewish people are perfect and never have done anything wrong? I dunno, I just hate that I wound up being distracted by this enough in watching the movie to include it here. Well... fuck you Mr. Mass Media for making much ado about nothing.
I'm the type of person that is fairly non-religious, I guess I'm agnostic for sakes of survey classification. I liberally like to joke around about elements of Christian faith, there is just an odd evil sense of joy in my heart at offending people. Jesus is normally the central figure to alot of jokes I might make, I am even the proud loving owner of a Jesus Christ action figure complete with sliding holy action. I think it's fair to say that Jesus is an element of world culture, even if someone knows nothing about religion the name Jesus still will ring familiar. So I think it's fair to be totally non-secular, but interested in this film for the story's sake. Although to be honest that was not my key interest in looking forward to the film. I consider myself a bit of film-psychotic and so thats what makes me interested in this, so that has me there, sorry Jesus (if you were real).
Enough of me pompously preaching about myself, back to the film.
In the rough form that it was presented this film shows itself to be a major achievement in cinema. It was shown digitally, which was kind of odd since I guess they brought a projector to the alamo just for it. Although it was still early non-color-timed, so at many moments the film's look kind of "off" and unbalanced between shots. Still somehow there were shots escaped from the film that resonated with incredibly beauty like they had been ripped from old paintings. Also at several times green-dots were seen where later cgi would be added, now what was pretty striking is that watching it CGI felt unnecessary in those sequences. In that respect the film is perfect in that respect as is, every moment seemed to be described physically I never sat thinking that I was missing something to be added later.
The acting in the film is nothing less than amazing. How the fuck Mel Gibson got a cast together for an Aramaic film is beyond me, but how the hell they were able to act in it is even more stellar. I can't imagine the look on an actors face when being sent an aramaic script, god I wish I could have been in the room with Monica Belluci or Jim Cavieziel's agents, their reaction had to be beautiful. Caviziel has delivered a performance that will change his life forever, he is Jesus in this film, he is not Caviziel, in fact I still fail to relate this guy as being him. It's pretty amazing, I think that Mel pulled a Murnau and made a deal with God to get Jesus himself to act in this film. Belluci is good, although she feels like a foot-note to Maria Morgenstern's beautiful performance. Maria Morgenstern as mary, HOLY FUCKING GOD! The torment she goes through during the crucifixation to her work in the flashback sequences, this woman has some amazing talent. Every member of the cast has done the best jobs we will see on a screen for the next year. Expect this film to sweep the acting oscars in 2005.
Watching the passion is like watching a non-existant film of that period, it's a window to that world. A few years back I went to a retrospective of soviet films done during communism, and it really felt like a window to a whole different world, I'd liken the passion to watching those films. I know there have been millions of biblical films made, but they have the barrier of language, when it's all said and done it's still a staged retelling. The difference between watching The Passion and watching other Jesus films, is that when you are watching The Passion it's real and what you are watching feels like actual events unfolding. If I wasn't so much of a cynic, perhaps the passion just might have got me to look back into christianity. Sad I'm so cynical, but thats me maybe not you.
I am going to end this review early for I desire more rest, I have lots of reviews from earlier this year that need to be done I will surely be at it after exams next week yepee. It's also not spell-checked or proof-read so have fun with it you english majors and jackasses.
Send hatemail here Ravkill@msn.com