The Passion of the Christ – Movie Review

The Passion of the Christ

Watching Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, I was breath-taken, shocked and literally found myself shattered by all that blood and other very infamous violent devices used on christ’s body to physically abuse him.

The Passion of the Christ follows the last 12 hours of Jesus’s life. Passion meaning suffering in Latin refers to the agonizing events in the final 12 hours of Jesus Christ’s life. Starting from Getsemane where Jesus is betrayed by Judas and gets arrested by the leaders of Pharisees, the movie walks along with Jesus from then to his last breath on the cross in Golgotha.

Much as been argued and debated on this highly controversial Mel Gibson’s adaptation of perhaps the greatest story ever re-told. Leaving the accuracy of movie and comparison of the depiction with the biblical truths to the biggies, I would stick with the movie and it’s clandestinely beautiful technical craftery.

As the scenes where the christ is beaten-up and tortured unfold, I couldn’t avoid the feeling that it is an exaggeration par excellence. But as the movie continues to unravel the true epic of Christ, one would accept it wasn’t exaggeration after all.

Perhaps the most authentic scene in the movie was when the Christ is scourged, whipped as the blood pours from all over his body by the Romans. Added to it, he is also beaten by a torture device called flagrum or the cat o’ nine tails, a whip with multiple straps and embedded with barbed metal tips to catch and shred the skin, leading to huge blood loss. In one of the most graphic shot where this flagrum is used on the christ’s body, it gets stuck below his rib cage and gets pulled violently causing a tear in the body from where the blood rushes out like a fountain.

As described by many, it is one of the most violent movies of all time. Mel Gibson as the director wants to show this torture of Christ in detail. It’s awe-inspiring and gruesome but the power of the movie lies in these scenes which are never scene before on-screen.

As Gibson being one of my favourite actors, I would have wished him to play the Jesus himself. But Gibson following the rule, no star bigger than the film itself, paves way to Jim Caviezel, the actor who stars as Jesus. With Caviezel’s amazing sharp eyes and some authentic photography by Caleb Deschanel, Mel Gibson’s brings to life a great hero.

Adding to the authenticity, the whole movie talks the biblical language. Aramaic, a ancient Semitic language closely related to Hebrew that today is considered by some linguists to be a dead language. So you sit through the whole movie with sub-titles that distracts you from watching the movie. This wouldn’t be called a compromise as Mel Gibson makes his Jesus talk like the same Jesus who lived 2000 years back.

This movie is certainly not an entertainer. As some said in a review, that if this movie entertains you, you are a sadist. Also for kids, this movie would be hard to sit through.

Mel Gibson as a director sparkles during those flashback scenes when Jesus recollects his past during Crucification. As Mary sees Jesus carrying the cross and falls down flat in the streets of Jerusalem, she remembers Jesus as a child who stumbles and falls down near the house. She runs fast to catch the child before it falls. But unfortunately the child falls down and gets hurt. This universally accepted sentinmental scene also finds a place in this movie.

With some appreciable BGMs and real-to-life Jerusalem street sets, The Passion of the Christ calls for a breath taking description of the life of the Christ. But what’s tough to comprehend is the human nature during the times of Christ which is dubbed as violent, barbaric and ruthless. Probably thats why Jesus preached Love thy Neighbour. Co-incidental to the above lines, as type them, Kamalhassan yells through the speakers, Anbe Sivam… Endrum Anbe Sivam. Do you think timing can be more perfect than this ?

27 thoughts on “The Passion of the Christ – Movie Review

  1. I think Mel Gibson really overdid the torture part in the movie.The movie was more like some extended documentary on the various torture techniques that ancient Romans used and less like something that was trying to spread the message of universal love Jesus preached.

  2. Watching the movie was like having Mel Gibson screaming in your ear for three long hours ‘Jesus was tortured! Jesus was tortured!’ over and over and over again. It was tiring.

  3. The movie was definitely awesome and moving, but I found some parts very disturbing especially all that graphic violence and gore. Someone commented “well intentioned and moving but unnecessarily bloated in blood” and I couldnt agree more.

  4. i think its important to add here that mel gibson himself had mentioned that to potray the actual violent torture that christ had to go through (as was the custom then) would be beyond the threshold of all audiences. So if you think this was too much to swallow…think again. The only fault (maybe thats too strong a word) is that the movie by restricting itself to the last 12 hours of christ’s life doesnt afford much attention to his good deeds and other preachings and sayings. So what we do see is just alot of torture and people who dont know the life and work of Jesus will be left curled in the recesses of their seat compared to people who do know his life and work who will be sitting up in bowed reverance to the man who had to pay the greatest price possible for the deliverance of his people to a holy and unchanging God.

  5. i think its important to add here that mel gibson himself had mentioned that to potray the actual violent torture that christ had to go through (as was the custom then) would be beyond the threshold of all audiences. So if you think this was too much to swallow…think again. The only fault (maybe thats too strong a word) is that the movie by restricting itself to the last 12 hours of christ’s life doesnt afford much attention to his good deeds and other preachings and sayings. So what we do see is just alot of torture and people who dont know the life and work of Jesus will be left curled in the recesses of their seat compared to people who do know his life and work who will be sitting up in bowed reverance to the man who had to pay the greatest price possible for the deliverance of his people to a holy and unchanging God.

  6. Well Said Kelvin, I agree with you completely. But the violence and the blood that was poured all over the movie was slightly more than our personal threshold level.

    If you agree Pithamahan increased the threshold level of violence with tamil audiences, this did the same with hollywood. But as a matter of fact, any change or dramatic increase of such elements in a film is talked about.

    They told francis ford coppola and stanley kubrick increased violence in hollywood movies. but as time went, there were other standards set. so mel gibson will find a name among them but there will be people coming behind who will dramatically increase the gore and violence in movie than mel himself.

    watch the fun.

  7. I dont think you can compare the violence in Kill Bill (or any other movie for that matter) with Passion. Passion is a real story. No wonder almost everyone in the audience was disturbed by the violence. It was difficult to digest that people could be so violent and brutal with someone who had performed so many miracles. After some time you almost feel relieved at the crucifixation, atleast the pain and torture is over, it was that bad. Kill Bill on the other hand is pure fiction. You may sympathise with “The Bride” (though the movie doesnt dwell much on that), you may enjoy the narrative and you will be mostly disgusted by all that blood gushing out of the Japanese heads. But at the end, its a movie nevertheless and any emotion ends when the movie ends. Not like the Passion of Christ, where you are almost numbed and shocked for a long time…

  8. I jus saw a part of the movie.It was screened in the Church,during Easter.THe scenes were taken so close to that period of time.I shud see the whole movie some time. 🙂

  9. Going a little offtrack here, but I suggest you read The Da Vinci Code, has lots of intriguing stuff on Christianity. It is certainly not a heavy discourse on this religion, just an insight into never before known stuff.

  10. Brothers and Sister,
    I was happy to see this great Christian movie. If we read BIBLE , we can get same reflection of this moive .

  11. Director Mel Gibson needs to be applauded and especially the cinematographer for lighting concepts

  12. I can’t believe so many of you guys thought it was a good movie! To sit through 2 and odd hours of guilt tripping the viewer into hailing Jesus with the most gruesome bunch of celluloid I’ve ever seen.

    To quote Stan Marsh from Southpark: “Dude, its a goddamned snuff film”.

  13. its was definetely good a movie but…the violence part is 2heavy to bear…i mean come on!!
    how can any1 bear da movie with such a lot of violence 4 two long hours..’neway Mel Gibson had done a very good job…n i guess da movie wil win the oscar

  14. Having read that the movie in one word is TORTURE none of my friends or I have the urge to watch it. After reading all you guys review, I sure am going to watch it for inquisitiveness sake 🙂 !

  15. its a great film, a film that portrays the last twelve hours of christ,a film one should never miss. we live in a world of hatred, ego selfishness and possesion,well its high time we watch the film depicting the life of god sent man jesus christ who lived and died for humanity.well dear friends kindly do watch the film,if at the end of the film you haven’t had atleast a small change in your lifestyle where you feel the need to be truthfull in life i would be surprised.

  16. Great movie, cant stop thinking about what Christ had to endure, sure makes one think. Hard to believe the brutality of those times. Dont care much for movies with subtitles, but i certainly didnt mind while watching this one.

  17. The Truth:
    At a dark corner of a room, a sixteen-year-old cut his wrist and died. He did it after his beloved of two years turned him down. That’s his Passion for the Woman.
    A woman lay on the bed too deep in sleep to be woken up; at the tip of her hand, there laid an empty bottle of sleeping pills. The Prince betrayed her and she died, not for losing him, but for losing his wealth. That’s her Passion for Wealth.
    The corpse of the Prince lay on the battlefield; he died for he fought until his last drop, for victory. That’s his Passion for Victory.
    The King hanged himself in his chamber; he died for he could not face the truth that his army lost the battle. That’s his Passion for the Throne.
    …………and far away in time, 2000 years ago a Man was crucified and He died. He died after experiencing an intense, brutal, gruesome torture. He suffered to that extent because there has to be a punishment for all the sins in this world. And He took it, all to Himself. That’s His Love for Mankind. That’s his Passion …… That’s The PASSION of The Christ.

    The Film:
    This Mel Gibson film is put down if I say it’s just a film; because every frame shows the stark reality, to which even the most insensitive man cannot stop his cheeks aching. And during the climax, having got crucified on the Cross, when Jesus prays: “…. Forgive them…. they don’t know….”, even an atheist like me, begins to realize the truth and believe it.
    There is Passion all over. Starting from the cast with James Caviezel (as Jesus), the music score by John Debney, to Mel Gibson, who expressed out his Passion to tell the Truth, there is Passion all over.

    The Last Line: Be prepared to watch the bitter Truth.

  18. When the movie came out in theaters I wasnt sure if i was gonne go see it because i thought it would just be another film that was the same as the rest. BUT… I finally decided i was gonna go bc everyone i knew that had seen it told me that it was by far the best movie ever made.. after seeing it for myself, i have to whole heartedly agree. Yes there was alot of violence in the movie, but that is the way it happened… if that is what it takes to wake people up and see the truth about things then thats good… no man will ever be able to put into film or words how awful christ death was… but mel gibson came really close .. this movie wasnt just about them beating Jesus to his death. It showed the love and compassion that Christ has for us. I know that when i sat in that theater and watched that movie, i cringed with such a heavy conviction on my heart. BUT I am so glad i did go and see that movie, bc it woke me up again.. it reminded me of the truth. I thank God for letting someone like Mel Gibsom bring the world such a amazing movie that will touch us all.

  19. its a good movies everyone must see but its as be banned in malaysia why? because they fraid those muslim can convent 2 christian

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