Movie Monday: The Passion of The Christ 2004

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The Passion of the Christ Image One
Image Credit: patheos.com

Fifteen years ago, today, the #1 film at the box office was The Passion of the Christ, a biblical drama starring Jim Caviezel, Maia Morgenstern, Monica Bellucci, Claudia Gerini and Sergio Rubini. Directed by Mel Gibson, the screenplay was co-written by Gibson and Benedict Fitzgerald. Released February 25, it was based on The Passion of Jesus in the New Testament and Clemens Brentano‘s The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the first volume of his records (notes) from conversations regarding meditations by Anne Catherine Emmerich, a canoness, mystic, visionary and stigmatist. John Debney was composer and cinematographer was Caleb Deschanel (father of Emily & Zooey Deschanel).

IMDB Summary:

The Passion of the Christ focuses on the last twelve hours of Jesus of Nazareth’s life. The film begins in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus has gone to pray after sitting [at] the Last Supper. Jesus must resist the temptations of Satan. Betrayed by Judas Iscariot, Jesus is then arrested and taken within the city walls of Jerusalem where leaders of the Pharisees confront him with accusations of blasphemy and, his trial results in a condemnation to death.

The Passion of the Christ Image Two
Photo Credit: imdb.com

Quotes
From Roger Ebert:

If ever there was a film with the correct title, that film is Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.” The movie is 126 minutes long and, I would guess that at least 100 of those minutes, maybe more, are concerned, specifically and graphically, with the details of the torture and death of Jesus. This is the most violent film I have ever seen.

What Gibson has provided for me, for the first time in my life, is a visceral idea of what the Passion consisted of. That his film is superficial in terms of the surrounding message — that we get only a few passing references to the teachings of Jesus — is, I suppose, not the point. This is not a sermon or a homily but, a visualization of the central event in the Christian religion. Take it or leave it.

David Ansen, a critic I respect, finds in Newsweek that Gibson has gone too far. “The relentless gore is self-defeating,” he writes. “Instead of being moved by Christ’s suffering or awed by his sacrifice, I felt abused by a filmmaker intent on punishing an audience, for who knows what sins.” This is a completely valid response to the film, and I quote Ansen because I suspect he speaks for many audience members, who will enter the theater in a devout or spiritual mood and emerge deeply disturbed. You must be prepared for whippings, flayings, beatings, the crunch of bones, the agony of screams, the cruelty of the sadistic centurions, the rivulets of blood that crisscross every inch of Jesus’ body. Some will leave before the end.

*David Edelstein with Slate Magazine
* Jami Bernard with New York Daily News

Trivia Bits
♦ On February 11, 2008, Benedict Fitzgerald filed a lawsuit against Mel Gibson and the production company Icon Productions, alleging the unfair deprivation of compensation and deception on the overall expense of the film production budget after the blockbuster box office success of the film The Passion of the Christ, including, but not limited to, “fraud, breach of contract & unjust enrichment” seeking unspecified damages.
Jim Caviezel experienced a shoulder separation when the 150lbs cross dropped on his shoulder. The scene is still in the movie.
♦ In an interview with Newsweek magazine, Jim Caviezel spoke about a few of the difficulties he experienced while filming. This included being accidentally whipped twice, which has left a 14-inch scar on his back. Caviezel also admitted he was struck by lightning while filming the Sermon on the Mount and during the crucifixion, experienced hypothermia during the dead of winter in Italy.

Nominations, Awards & Other Accolades


 


 

8 thoughts on “Movie Monday: The Passion of The Christ 2004

    BlackSheep said:
    April 16, 2019 at 12:53 PM

    Did you ever watch this personally? I have not seen it, but I remember when it was number one in the box office.

    Like

      BlackSheep said:
      April 16, 2019 at 7:12 PM

      I’m not into the brutal stuff either. Same with horror. I only saw the first Saw movie. That was enough for me.

      Like

    badfinger20 said:
    April 24, 2019 at 12:43 AM

    I never saw this… I like some violent movies…A Clockwork Orange… that one I really liked.

    Like

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      April 24, 2019 at 3:48 PM

      I’ve never seen either. I can take some violence if germaine to the plot (like Die Hard). Brutality for the sake of shocking the audience like slasher films…NO.

      Liked by 1 person

        badfinger20 said:
        April 24, 2019 at 3:57 PM

        A Clockwork Orange is the most realistic violent movie I’ve seen… it doesn’t have slashing really just awkward violence…. very unsettling.
        Yea I want a purpose for it not just to get viewers.

        Like

    Mani said:
    April 25, 2019 at 1:22 PM

    This film is a Masterpiece ! I have rewatched this film several times, not from faith perspective but to get a feel of first century Jerusalem, Jesus’ trial and the brutality of Roman punishments.

    Like

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