Nov 14, 2011

Passion of Christ[2004]

Where do I begin talking about this film? It is about religion, about the story of Jesus Christ and what he went through. It is directed by Mel Gibson and it stars James Caviezel, Monica Belluci, Maia Morgenstern and others. It is a very special film.

Mel Gibson decided to write, produce and direct a movie about a delicate subject! How can you properly explain this story in motion picture without being too Hollywood or exagerated in some parts? You can't, because you don't actually know what happened, you have only the Bible to guide you. It had its flaws, I am sure some hated it and at certain times the violence was too much, but you can't not be touched by it, by the way it was portrayed.

Religion is not something I talk about because I do not consider myself a religious person, but I can say about me that when something moves me, when I can relate or feel or understand the emotions it is trying to transmit, it can have a great impact over me. I cried during Passion of Christ two times: first, when Mary gets close to Jesus in his way to the crucification point, after John takes her there, and the second time, when he arrives and they pint him to the cross. It is one of the most disturbing, moving scenes I have ever seen. Sometimes I wonder: am I that easy to manipulate? am I weak? I hope I am not, because that scene should raise some emotions in everyone's heart.

I don't want to get into details and say Mel Gibson didn't follow the exact Testament or that he got something wrong, after all it is a movie. I found it interesting, but appropriate, that he used the original language for it- that must have been an extra point of pressure for the actors. If we should start discussing and disecting this movie, it would take ages and this is not a place for it- I don't think we have enough knowledge or wisdom to do it!

What we can do is enjoy a great movie and be impressed by its actors. James Caviezel is fantastic- I can't even begin to imagine the pressure of the role and how demanding it must have been to play that part. Just think about the emotional conection and the pain he had to portray for it; I respect him just for that, just for trying. Sure, it wasn't perfect, sometimes it looked overacted, by I understand him.

Another amazing performance is Mary, played by Maia Morgenstern. Now, I can proudly say that this wonderful woman is a known and loved Romanian actress and I had the chance to meet her at a local event. She is so elegant, kind and inspiring and has a special aura about her that attracts people. I thought she delivered a great performance.

Now it's time to see what IMDb has to say!The Oscars nominated it just for Make-up and Sound?Really?Why?I mean, why not acknowledge the passion and commitment of James Caviezel, if not Maia Morgenstern? Is it because of Mel Gibson?

Anyway, as you can see, I was touched by it and I loved it!

Did you see it?What did it do for you?


  1. Have you seen Gibson's Apocalypto? Passion was too heavy and too political for me and I felt too force fed. You're right about Caviezel, he did a great job. But Gibson's follow up is a back to basics chase movie which is again brutal but also much more fun!

  2. Hey Pete, I haven't seen Apocalypto, I don't think I'd like, but I'll give a try soon, if you say it's good! Passion was heavy, but the story means a lot to me, as it is retold every year during the Easter celebrations!Thanks for droping by!

  3. It is one of the films I vowed never to watch but really must get around to seeing!!

    Great piece as ever Aziza

  4. Passion Of The Christ is definitely one of the more controversial (read: divisive) films of the last 20 years, with Gibson's religious slant on the portrayal of Christ's last hours on Earth either ticking people off, or reaffirming the faithful's choice to follow Him. His personal life aside, Gibson makes seriously enthralling films (Braveheart, while resplendent with inaccuracies, was still marvelous entertainment) that deserve their audience. I have little doubt that Passion was a film intended to stir controversy and conversation, and to that end, Gibson succeeded. For people who are non-believers in Christ's message, the violence and degradation may come across as slightly pornographic in its explicitness, however those who DO believe will once more come to appreciate God's love for us through the suffering of His son.

    Great review, Aziza, of a highly polarizing film.

  5. Scott, I had my doubts when it first came out, but it's a surprisingly good movie, put it on your list!Thanks!
    Rodney, I agree with what you said; the believers will find this even more appealing then the non-believers. The weird thing is I never considered myself a believer, but I guess this movie proves me wrong!Thanks for droping by!

  6. Definitely do see Apocalypto, IMO and overlooked masterpiece. I haven't see Passion but it certainly sounds more intriguing thanks to your review!

  7. Thanks Castor! I will check it out soon, hopefully!If not, Christmas vacation is always a good time to watch a lot of movies!:)

  8. Thanks for your thoughtful review, Aziza. This is one of the most affecting film I've watched... I've only been able to see it once on the big screen but I remember not being able to move for a few minutes after the end credits rolled. I was bawling throughout most of the torture/crucifixion scenes so my eyes were swollen. As a Christian the message spoke to me at a profound level.

    I really appreciate reading your point of view as a non-religious person, and the fact that you can admire the beauty beneath all the gory scenes depicted in this film. Gibson said in various interviews that the actual events are far more brutal than what he filmed, he's right about that as in the Bible, Jesus' face is said to have been horribly deformed from all the beatings. Gibson wanted to illustrate the 'passion' of the Christ and the length he went to save humanity, so in that regard it's very effective.

    It's too bad some people see it as torture-porn, what have you. I mean you don't have to believe in Christ's teachings but at least respect the subject matter enough and try to see 'beyond' the gore, y'know. The message of the film is about love, forgiveness and complete surrender and humility, I don't think it was lost in the film.

    Like you, I am aghast that this movie barely got any recognition. The acting alone, especially Caviezel who gave his all in a fearless performance, is worth AT LEAST an Oscar nomination. I will forever respect him for doing this film, even knowing that it will cost him roles in the future (he's a believer also).

    Anyway, thank you for this honest review. So to answer your question, yes this film definitely touched me.

  9. Thank you Ruth for taking the time to come and comment! I am glad you liked my review and that the movie touched you! It is great and you are right, people should see besides the violence and blood and understand the real situation! Thanks!