The Passion

I went and saw The Passion yesterday. It's intense. Very graphic; extremely visceral. My take is that it's not a movie that you see with other people; not for believers, at least. When you see something like that, the main thing you realize is that it was for you. That's what makes it so hard to watch as opposed to other violent movies. I'll put it like this- I cried watching The Passion, and the last time I cried because of what was going in a movie was, about, never. Moreover, I cut my teeth reading Luke 23, so I know the story of the crucifixion. I knew what was going to happen, which parts were scripture and which parts were artistic interpretation; there were even a few lines I was expecting to hear and didn't. I mention that to say that I was not at all caught off guard. I have even read a physician's description of the crucifixion, so the severity of the flogging was not surprising to me; I have been taught and personally believe that it was even worse than what was depicted on film. Isaiah 52:14 says "As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men." Still, watching a portryal of it is so different than reading about it that it almost defies description. It's one thing to read about how brutal a Roman scourging was, but it's something else altogether to see what one might've looked like. But I bet the difference between what the film portrays and what actually happened is even wider than the difference between what I imagined and what Mel Gibson suggested. Having said that, I do believe that the violence is so graphic and so overwhelming that it's numbing. If that scene was about a minute or two shorter, it would be even more powerful than it already is. I liked some of the dramatic devices like having the devil whispering temptation in the Garden and showing the devil moving amongst the crowd and the Roman centurions. Like I said earlier, though, there were some parts I was looking for that didn't show up. What's more, I wasn't sure what the point of having Jesus say something that is not in the Bible until Revelation. I understand it in a larger sense, but it's a curious inclusion. All that said, I firmly recommend it. I would suggest first going by yourself and then bringing anybody who you think should see it. Like I said, though, it's not the type of movie that you see together. You may walk into the theater with another person but you see this movie all by yourself.