At the request of a fellow writer, I saw this DVD, and report what I saw and felt.
Christians already know of Christ's passion and death, from years of listening to gospels, reading “The Bible”, and using individual imagination. Mel Gibson’s direction of “The Passion of the Christ” focuses on the brutal inhumanity of man-on-man, using the most graphic Twenty-First Century technical imagery available.
Beginning with the seizure of “Jesus” by Roman soldiers, at 3:00 am in the “Garden of Gethsemane”, through the time of “Jesus’” crucifixion and death, we see physical pain, torturously inflicted.
Many scenes focus on the extreme physical torture of “Christ”, and this viewer developed the pain of empathy. Acts of brutality beyond my understanding and acceptance are written in the Bible. Actor Jim Caviezel’s physical transition throughout this film is very graphic. Certain scenes required that Caviezel spend more than ten hours in make-up before the cameras began filming.
Music filling the background of dialogue, spoken in the Aramaic language of the time (with subtitles), adds to the church choir and celestial spirit mood and tone that pervade this film. The music alone may bring on emotions one associates with religion. The setting feels realistic, and the structure of the staging area is true to what has been described.
Maia Morgenstern as “Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ”, plays her role to admirable perfection, despite being hidden in simple dark clothes and having few lines, portraying much through her eyes. Likewise, Monica Bellucci as “Mary Magdalene” is present, then absent, then present, as “Christ” carries his crucifix up the hill. Hristo Naumov Shopov, as “Pontius Pilot”, washes his hands, though I never imagined a silent but opinionated wife in view.
My desire not to see this film again is due to my views regarding excessive violence. However, Gibson, in order to stay true to his beliefs, could have directed this film no other way.