This is the Zodiac speaking…
To Nman in particular I write this diatribe. “As terrible as Christ’s suffering on the cross was, perhaps it was not as great as His suffering in Gethsemane. When he sweats drops of blood as He bore the weight of all the sins of mankind, the great agony of the Atonement took place.” (“Because of His Love,” Ensign, April 2002, p.19)
I am not here to debate religion, just religious films, and fully appreciate the emotions provoked in watching a realistic, brutal torture, and eventual execution. Just like Gibson did in Braveheart. The reason I panned this film is because it wasn’t a film, it was, as I said, torture porn. Crucifixion was a standard way of execution in the days of Rome, so what happened to Jesus, what the entire film focuses on, was a pretty regular, granted, barbaric, occurrence. It was not a movie about the man, it was a two hour celebration of masochism. The use of gruesome martyrdom is nothing new in Hollywood, once again Braveheart, but this is the first one I’ve seen that had no real story other than the pending execution.
Imagine if Braveheart, I know I keep going there but it fits so well with the Martyr/Mel theme I’ve got rolling here, started with William Wallace being led out of his cell into the waiting arms of his torturers and ended with a perplexing scream of “Freedom” as the ax fell. Fade to black. Fantastic film eh? Why not? Wallace is a historical figure. True his life wasn’t anywhere near as romantic or inspiring as the man portrayed on screen. To obscure and idealized a historical figure you say? How about this. Opening credits roll over a silken theater curtain, when it’s pulled back we see the start of “Our American Cousin.” The camera stays on the actors momentarily then slowly starts to pan toward the balcony revealing Lincoln. Fast forward through a gunshot wound to the head, shot in bullet time like the Matrix, and an hour and a half more of 1865 doctors operating, applying leaches, and using other forms of antiquated quackery, only to be found lacking. The music stops, the screen goes black, and we pull the camera back in the darkness and right through the name LINCOLN emblazoned in silver.
My point isn’t against the message of the movie, except maybe the blame the Jews part but I think I was pretty obvious about that, only that it wasn’t a movie. Movies are meant to entertain, enlighten, and impart, not gross you out.