||[Feb. 9th, 2004|09:25 pm]
Well one of the big topics of late has been Mel Gibson's new movie The Passion. Today I received an email forward written by somebody who had seen it in advance and wrote a review on it. I was very impressed with the description this person gave so I've decided to share it with you. Excuse the formatting, I just don't have time to edit it.|
>>Received from Jody Dean, one of our local CBS news anchors.
> >>There've been a ton of emails and forwards floating around
> >>recently from those who've had the privilege of seeing Mel Gibson's
> >>Passion Of The Christ" prior to its actual release. I thought I'd give
> >>you my reaction after seeing it last night.
> >>The screening was on the first night of "Elevate!", a
> >>weekend-long seminar for young people at Prestonwood Baptist Church in
> >>Plano. There were about 2,000 people there, and the movie was shown
> >>after several speakers had taken the podium. It started around 9 and
> >>finished around 11...so I reckon the film is about two hours in
> >>Frankly, I lost complete track of time - so I can't be sure.
> >>I want you to know that I started in broadcasting when I was
> >>13-years-old. I've been in the business of writing, performing,
> >>production, and broadcasting for a long time. I've been a part of
> >>movies, radio, television, stage and other productions - so I know how
> >>things are done. I know about soundtracks and special effects and
> >>make-up and screenplays. I think I've seen just about every kind of
> >>movie or TV show ever made - from extremely inspirational to extremely
> >>gory. I read a lot, too - and have covered stories and scenes that
> >>make me wince. I also have a vivid imagination, and have the ability
> >>picture things as they must have happened - or to anticipate things as
> >>they will be portrayed. I've also seen an enormous amount of footage
> >>from Gibson's film, so I thought I knew what was coming.
> >>But there is nothing in my existence - nothing I could have
> >>read, seen, heard, thought, or known - that could have prepared me for
> >>what I saw on screen last night.
> >>This is not a movie that anyone will "like". I don't think it's
> >>a movie anyone will "love". It certainly doesn't "entertain". There
> >>isn't even the sense that one has just watched a movie. What it is, is
> >>an experience - on a level of primary emotion that is scarcely
> >>comprehensible. Every shred of human preconception or predisposition
> >>utterly stripped away. No one will eat popcorn during this film. Some
> >>may not eat for days after they've seen it. Quite honestly, I wanted
> >>vomit. It hits that hard.
> >>I can see why some people are worried about how the film
> >>portrays the Jews. They should be worried. No, it's not anti-Semitic.
> >>What it is, is entirely shattering. There are no "winners". No one
> >>off looking "good" - except Jesus. Even His own mother hesitates. As
> >>depicted, the Jewish leaders of Jesus' day merely do what any of us
> >>would have done - and still do. They protected their perceived "place"
> >>their sense of safety and security, and the satisfaction of their own
> >>"rightness". But everyone falters. Caiphus judges. Peter denies. Judas
> >>betrays. Simon the Cyrene balks. Mark runs away. Pilate equivocates.
> >>crowd mocks. The soldiers laugh. Longinus still stabs with his pilus.
> >>The centurion still carries out his orders. And as Jesus fixes them
> >>with a glance, they still turn away. The Jews, the Romans, Jesus'
> >>friends - they all fall. Everyone, except the Principal Figure. Heaven
> >>sheds a single, mighty tear - and as blood and water spew from His
> >>the complacency of all creation is eternally shattered.
> >>The film grabs you in the first five seconds, and never lets go.
> >>The brutality, humiliation, and gore is almost inconceivable - and
> >>probably doesn't go far enough. The scourging alone seems to never
> >>and you cringe at the sound and splatter of every blow - no matter how
> >>steely your nerves. Even those who have known combat or prison will
> >>trouble, no matter their experience - because this Man was not
> >>conscripted. He went willingly, laying down His entirety for all. It
> >>one thing for a soldier to die for his countrymen. It's something else
> >>entirely to think of even a common man dying for those who hate and
> >>to kill him. But this is no common man. This is the King of the
> >>Universe. The idea that anyone could or would have gone through such
> >>punishment is unthinkable - but this Man was completely innocent,
> >>completely holy - and paying the price for others. He screams as He is
> >>laid upon the cross, "Father, they don't know. They don't know..."
> >>What Gibson has done is to use all of his considerable skill to
> >>portray the most dramatic moment of the most dramatic events since the
> >>dawn of time. There is no escape. It's a punch to the gut that puts
> >>on the canvas, and you don't get up. You are simply confronted by the
> >>horror of what was done - what had to be done - and why. Throughout
> >>entire film, I found myself apologizing.
> >>What you've heard about how audiences have reacted is true.
> >>There was no sound after the film's conclusion. No noise at all. No
> >>got up. No one moved. The only sound one could hear was sobbing. In
> >>my years of public life, I have never heard anything like that.
> >>I told many of you that Gibson had reportedly re-shot the ending
> >>to include more "hope" through the Resurrection? That's not true. The
> >>Resurrection scene is perhaps the shortest in the entire movie - and
> >>it packs a punch that can't be quantified. It is perfect. There is no
> >>way to negotiate the meaning out of it. It simply asks, "Now, what
> >>you do?"
> >>I'll leave the details to you, in the hope that you will see the
> >>film - but one thing above all stands out, and I have to tell you
> >>it. It comes from the end of Jesus' temptations in the wilderness -
> >>where the Bible says Satan left him "until a more opportune time". I
> >>imagine Satan never quit tempting Christ, but this film captures
> >>words the most opportune time. At every step of the way, Satan is
> >>at Jesus' side - imploring Him to quit, reasoning with Him to give up,
> >>and seducing Him to surrender. For the first time, one gets an
> >>heart-stopping idea of the sense of madness that must have enveloped
> >>Jesus - a sense of the evil that was at His very elbow. The physical
> >>punishment is relentless - but it's the sense of psychological torture
> >>that is most overwhelming. He should have quit. He should have opened
> >>His mouth. He should have called 10,000 angels. No one would have
> >>Him. What we deserve is obvious. But He couldn't do that. He wouldn't
> >>that. He didn't do that. He doesn't do that. It was not and is not His
> >>character. He was obedient, all the way to the cross - and you feel
> >>real meaning of that phrase in a place the human heart usually doesn't
> >>dare to go. You understand that we are called to that same level of
> >>obedience. With Jesus' humanity so irresistibly on display, you
> >>understand that we have no excuse. There is no place to hide.
> >>The truth is this: Is it just a "movie"? In a way, yes. But it
> >>goes far beyond that, in a fashion I've never felt - in any forum. We
> >>may think we "know". We know nothing. We've gone 2,000 years - used to
> >>the idea of a pleasant story, and a sanitized Christ. We expect the
> >>ending, because we've heard it so many times. God forgive us. This
> >>tears that all away. It's is as close as any of us will ever get to
> >>knowing, until we fully know. Paul understood. "Be urgent, in and out
> >>Luke wrote that Jesus reveals Himself in the breaking of the
> >>bread. Exactly. "The Passion Of The Christ" shows that Bread being
> >>Go see this movie.
> >>His, and His alone.