Comments On "The Passion Of The Christ"
By Caye Caswick
On Sunday March 14 - 36 parishioners from St. Luke went to see the
Passion of the Christ. After the showing, the Movie Club led by Ken Stevens met at his
home for a discussion. The comments below made by Caye Caswick are an example of some
of the remarks given in the discussion.
I thought The Passion of The Christ was a tremendously
moving movie. I was well prepared for the movie, or so I thought. I had read as many
reviews as I could find. I also began reading Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to further
refresh my memory of the events. The movie started out beautifully - I thought The Garden
of Gethsemane was quite lush - and the night sky was a little eerie -a fog even hung in
the air. You could see Jesus lamenting on the events about to occur. Then the movie took
a very serious tone as Satan made an appearance, and it was quite a long time until its
tone changed again.
I found Mel Gibson's use of flashbacks and his interpretation of Satan
to be extremely well thought out and beautifully interwoven into the movie. I also think
his selection of cast was outstanding - especially the key characters, Jesus, Mary and
Satan. Actually, when I learned he had chosen a woman to play the part of Satan, I could
hardly wait until the movie opened. When I saw Satan appear in the movie I was even more
impressed than I had thought I would be with a woman playing the part. She didn't really
look all that feminine - more genderless, amazing.
You have probably already heard how brutally Christ was treated. I won't
disagree that almost the entire movie was vicious - and I can't really decide if it all was
really necessary - although after having seen it, I can't say it should have been
different. Maybe it was necessary. Maybe Mel Gibson could have gone into a little more
depth on his use of flashbacks - although, that might have been overdone. He did do an
excellent job of weaving those into the movie.
I don't think I've ever cried for anyone as hard as I did not only for
Christ, but for Mary - it was so difficult to watch her lose her son, and so brutally, all
the while him being taunted. I actually found myself feeling extremely relieved once he
died - that his suffering was over and his victory over death and Satan were complete.
There was also a flicker of hope at the very end of the movie when you see his tomb empty,
and you realize in a new way just how powerful his existence was, is and always shall
I have had a couple discussions with people who wished the ending of
the movie had gone on a bit longer. I'm not sure that was necessary, as I really breathed
a sigh of relief and did get a glimmer of hope from the ending. For me it was done
appropriately, but maybe focusing a little more on the resurrection wouldn't have been a
bad idea. I did see Diane Sawyer interview Mel before the movie opened, and he did want to
focus specifically on the last 12 hours of Christ's life - so he was true to his aim.
I think that the most important thing about the movie that I have
noticed since I saw it was that it has sparked a lot of discussion. I hear people
discussing it everywhere, at work, on the train, at lunch, in line at the store, nearly
everywhere. I think that's great. There are so many people in the world today who don't
ever think of religion, let alone Jesus and His dying for us. My hope is that the movie
has a fabulously long run and that it becomes a classic, and generation after generation
sees it and discusses it. I believe once it has been seen in other countries, we'll hear
more differing opinions. Just think what the Middle East might think of it, could be pretty
interesting. Maybe it will do the world a great service. I sure hope so; only one way to
find out - time will tell.
If you plan on going as a family with children - or even better with
grandparents, aunts and uncles -- I suggest the parents view the movie first, and then
prepare the children for what they are about to witness. The movie is not appropriate for
small children. It would be oh, so appropriate, to have a family meal to discuss all the
different opinions shortly after such a viewing.