God has been on my mind of late as I’m 1/3 of the way through God, A Biography, which has been excellent thus far. And so I was quite interested in checking out The Passion of the Christ to see if Gibson had come up with any new perspectives on the death of Jesus or even if it was an entertaining (in the broadest sense of the word) portrayal of the event. Sad to say, he has not. All the violence, which wasn’t really that bad (certainly not the most violent movie ever), numbed me to the emotion of the whole thing - much like Tarantino’s movies do for others — leaving me only the movie itself to consider. And the movie was just ok, certainly nothing special.
A note on the crowd at the film, which was, due to the nature of the film, more interesting than what was happening on the screen. Two men of the cloth sat in front of me (affiliation unclear); they whispered to each other for much of the film, discussing what they saw.
Before the movie started, the woman of the couple beside me said to her husband, “you know, I’m going to have to see this again. My mother and my sister want to see it.” He asked her, “are you going to buy the DVD too?” “Yeah,” she said. After a short silence, her husband says, “honey, you know this is just a movie, right? It’s not church.”
Many people cried during the whipping and cruxifiction scenes…and there was a baby that cried periodically throughout the film. No children in the audience as far I could tell. At the end, lots of clapping…the audience clearly enjoyed the movie.