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Drama - Historic

The Passion of Christ (2004)

Duration2h 07m
RatingsUK: 18, USA: R. Spain 18.
Source of storySaid to be based on the gospels plus some other religious sources.
DirectorMel Gibson
Writers/ScriptBenedict Fitzgerald, Mel Gibson
StarringJim Caviezel, Maia Morgenstern, Monica Bellucci,  Hristo Shopov, Claudia Gerini,  
RatingsIMDb:  7.2 by 113,646 people. Rotten Tomatoes: 49% by 278 critics.

Elevator Pitch: The film depicts the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus, from the time when Judas is encouraged by the priests to betray him. Thereafter he is taken in chains before Pontius Pilate who attempts to transfer the responsibility for what is to happen next to Herod. But Jesus is sent back, and so Pilate allows the crowd to choose between him and Barrabas, an assassin. The crowd choose the criminal and so with the priests demanding that Jesus be crucified, and the Roman soldiers constantly taunting him about the claim that he is the son of God, he is scourged and vilified until he is finally crucified.

Content: There is no sex or nudity, and just a bit of drinking of wine. As well as the extremely unpleasant scenes of the scourging, and everything that follows there are a few flashbacks to various well known scenes of Jesus’s life one of which is the saving of an adulteress from being stoned, in this film Mary Magdalen and in addition some scenes created for dramatic effect.  Satan is seen as a shadowy figure witnessing the events. 

A View:  Well, like it or not, this movie took more than twice its estimated production cost on its first weekend, my personal standard for an extremely successful outing. But we have to wonder why. I also have wondered why the Easter parades in Spain feature many dioramas of the scouring of Christ. Believers, and maybe others have a fascination with suffering, not really a recommendation for becoming a Christian. But cutting to the chase, how could I possibly recommend one of the most unpleasant visual experiences I have ever seen on screen to anyone, that is unless, regardless of your beliefs, you want to witness torture.

Additional Info: While filming the sermon on the mount Jim Caviezel was struck by lightning but, even though his hair caught fire, he was unhurt.    

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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