Well, I can't say that it was a "good" movie, exactly...
I can say that it was powerful, moving, potent, and it was about 15 minutes after leaving the theater that I regained the power of speech. I haven't taken an emotional beating like that since... well, never from a movie. I've never cried over a beating in a movie before... from the noises around me in the theater, neither had many other patrons sobbing and blubbering like preschoolers with skinned knees. So at least that doesn't make me too big of a pansy. The acting was beyond reproach, the emotional impact unalloyed and ruthless. Yes, this flick will give your emotional bits the "girl scout in Leavenworth" treatment. I don't see many awards coming for this movie, though, and I think that's a good thing. Not that I don't think it deserves them, but giving this movie an Emmy or a Grammy or whatever would be like awarding a Boeing 747 the blue ribbon at a model airplane convention.
It was not about religion, it was about the last few days of Jesus' life. There wasn't any name branding, there wasn't any attempt that I could discern to label or point out any one person as good or bad. The people that were responsible for kicking Jesus's ass weren't representatives of the Jewish faith, they were just assholes that happened to be Jewish. Even Satan himself was "just doing his job", lol.
Personally, I thought Satan was well done. Very well done. Very gentle, very sympathetic, very comforting. Very well done, indeed. And Judas.... poor Judas. What made the movie so effective wasn't that it was gory or violent, but that the gore and violence was neither accentuated nor overlooked. Nothing was drawn out or altered for cinematic effect; but neither did they pan the cameras away until it was over. As I saw it, the movie was simply an attempt to present the events as they might realistically have happened. That's what made it so moving and powerful. The fact that it could very easily have been exactly what went down. From the drunken roman soldiers treating the savage beating of a human being like children at a birthday party to the frustrated and weary Pontius Pilot trying to be a decent human being and simultaneously keep the populace (as he sees them) from revolting again. All the characters, even the real assholes, were portrayed as just people doing what people do. Good AND bad, merciful AND tyrannical, pure AND profane; all at once, and all real and true. It's not balance between to opposing sides that the movie drives home (at least to me), it's that those sides aren't even opposing, that both are true and proper aspects of the human condition, which we can either accept and utilize, or deny and resist. The effects of either choice will be as they will, not so much from the judgment of "god" as the natural consequences resulting on their own. But is there really a difference between those two, I wonder?
I know there will be plenty of people that pick out a few details and say that they're historically inaccurate, and try trash the movie over those inaccuracies. But you know what? All of this took place over 2000 years ago, and so any information we have is gonna be what, 30th, 40th, 50th hand by now? That very basic logic illustrates that no one has anything close to a technically reliable picture of what, objectively speaking, went down. So I'm not gonna nit pick the historic or technical veracity of this movie. It was too long ago for anyone to ever really know for sure, and I don't see anyone else with a better version. Besides, I think that'd be a waste, like finding the plot holes or acting flaws in Old Yeller. Yeah, you can find them, and make yourself feel all smart and stuff, but if that means you've got dry eyes when the gun goes off, you missed the point.
I'm not a Christian by any stretch of the imagination, but I think Jesus was pretty damned cool, or at the very least, his message was. What's been done with and too that message isn't a thing that anyone should be forced to see, but if you actually take the time to winnow out the things JC actually said and separate that from the other, later stuff a bunch of people have attached, ... well, maybe it's not what everyone seems to think it is. Don't worry, I'm not gonna get all religious here. I'm just saying that no matter what your religion is or isn't, this is one hell of a story, and one hell of a movie. I cannot, in good conscience, advise anyone to see this movie, but I can say that it is the best movie I never want to see again.
music: liquid divine - hightech love