The Passion of the Christ Mel Gibson

The Passion of the Christ Mel Gibson
There are no, and I repeat no, extras on this DVD, which is disappointing. This was the perfect time for Mel Gibson to promote his ideas and convictions, and to provide a director's commentary to explain his choices. There are no productions stills, trailers, commentary or featurettes. Nothing. I suspect that Mr. Gibson wants his film to stand on its own. It doesn't matter how many experts speak or recount research, or how many people describe their transformation while watching The Passion of the Christ, you need to have your own faith. This is unfortunate because The Passion could use some support material; it's a single-minded, poorly structured film with cardboard characters and leaden performances. Gibson was accused of anti-Semitism but his hatred and contempt has a much further reach. There is a definite "Are you with us or agin' us" philosophy, as anyone who doesn't believe in Christ is weak, pure evil, effeminate or repulsive. I was raised Catholic in the post-Vatican II world so this isn't the image of Jesus that I experienced. Yes, it was hard to recount the story of your friend and brother being beaten, betrayed and killed every year but there was the comfortable distance of pageantry and Jesus Christ Superstar. The Passion is a lot more hardcore. It gets the point across that Jesus didn't merely "fall for the third time." This film is positively brutal. There is little reprieve from the constant beatings and torture that Christ receives, as Jim Caviezal (as Jesus) spends two hours moaning and/or stunned. It's not that Jesus should have a silly sidekick but even Greek tragedy understood the importance of a fool. It makes me yearn for the days of Billy Graham movies like Joni or The Prodigal, which told sappy tales of redemption (then asked you to touch the movie screen if you felt God's love). They at least tried to tell a story rather than shock the audience into submission. (Warner)