Most helpful positive review
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
well researched and executed portrayal of Jesus' final hours
on October 13, 2004
I was hesitant to watch the movie because of all the reports I had heard about the level of violence. However, my curiosity finally won out and when my neighbour got the DVD, I simply had to watch it.
I loved it! I was absorbed in the movie from the very start and it never let go. It was intense.
Yes there was violence, and yes Gibson didn't shield us one bit from the enormity of it. It is graphic and in your face, however it is NOT gratuitious violence. It was simply a portrayal of what actually happened (well, if you believe in the bible). Of course, I still had to cover my eyes at some points. (Interestingly, some movie critics who complained about the level of violence in this movie are perfectly happy with the senseless blood and gore of Hollywood flicks. Go figure.)
I found the pacing fantastic. The use of the languages of the day actually helped the authenticity of the movie. I think that was an excellent decision by Gibson. The cinematography was breathtaking. The portrayal of the Devil sent shivers down my spine. The final scene with the Devil and the final scene of the movie were absolutely perfect. I won't say more because I simply can't give that away.
The movie followed Jesus only during those last hours of his life from the Garden of Gethsemene to the tomb. Sprinkled throughout were flashbacks that did a fantastic job of linking Jesus' life and teachings to his crucifixtion. One could almost see his apostles watching the events, remembering what Jesus had said, and experiencing a mini-revelation, finally unerstanding what Jesus meant.
Another thing I loved about the movie was the excellent use of eye contact. So much was said without words. Like the rest of this movie, it was powerful.
Also, those who have done some research into the Passion will realize that Gibson drew from a variety of sources to flesh out the biblical story. Writings and from various Saints were used. There is so much symbolism and so much depth to the movie. As I said, fantastic.
Finally, all the "bit characters" in this story were fleshed out with their own personalities, constraints, hopes, and viewpoints. The Romans were not all carbon copies of each other. Nor were the Jews. And along the way, we saw characters touched and moved by the events taking place.
Definitely a movie to see, and absolutely a movie to talk about afterwards. All in all, an excellent movie that made the last hours of Jesus' life more real.