Come as you are with garment tearing anger as we have no choice but to blame the one dimensional scepter wielding villain. Get lifted with us this week as we discuss Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.

Director: Mel Gibson

Writers: Benedict Fitzgerald, Mel Gibson

Stars: Jim Caviezel, Monica Bellucci, Maia Morgenstern

Released: March 2004

Budget: $30,000,000

Worldwide Gross: $612,054,428

Breakdown and Analysis

  • There were aspects of the film that Oti was not able to watch when he was younger. He understood it would cover Jesus’ last hours but didn’t realise how insistent the torturing would be.
  • Catholicism is one of the oldest religions and it is driven by fear. KT furthers that the depiction in the film aligns with that.
  • As much as Christianity likes to draw a clear line, the ritual of sacrament feels paganistic.
  • The directing didn’t feel cinematic. It felt like a history channel re-enactment or made to play in Sunday schools.
  • KT was hoping for shaky cam to distract of every lashing close up. The violence was unrelenting.
  • This film is an echo chamber, why only surrounding yourself that reaffirm what you believe is a problem. Watching this film, KT can see why Christians would want to be better Christians after viewing.
  • KT felt the same as Kyle in the relevant South Park episode. There was no care beyond the suffering of Christ. Every moment was about his suffering.
  • With all films, we talk about emotional investment. Narrative dictates whether she should or shouldn’t care about the character. We encountered 50 straight minutes of Jesus getting lashed and tortured without knowing anything about him. It was the intermediate class of Jesus not the Beginners. KT notes this to lazy writing.
  • Even though there are so many iterations of Batman, Spiderman etc there is still a responsibility to inject the emotional investment and this was not present in this film.
  • There was no dimension to Jesus aside from being tortured by evil people.
  • We’re meeting Jesus at the peak and end of his career. Part of why we love John Wick is the emotion was established very early and it wasn’t just about Slick Fu.
  • Cinema is for everyone. KT would have liked to have seen more dimension from Jesus.
  • Jesus is a perfect being like Superman and Goku so storylines are boring.
  • If you’re sitting her minding your business, you already have established beliefs that dictate your life and how you interact and understand the world. Imagine having someone claiming to be the only way to not spend an eternity in fire and brimstone. However semantics, Jesus elevated himself to deity. You are a decent person but can only get into the Kindgom of heaven through him because your established beliefs aren’t good enough.
  • Religion is a not a science. So even the foundations of religion are based on different interpretations.
  • Claiming to be the Messiah is worthy of scrutiny.
  • Caiphus beings Jesus to the Romans because under their law they cannot kill him. He is still wanting him dead so is still guilty.
  • Pontius had a political decision that conflicted and presented a moral quandary. KT was hoping to see more of these moral quandaries.
  • KT didn’t need to see the teen years but wanted to live a little in the miracles of Jesus before the relenting torture.
  • As they were detaining Jesus, he was already quite beaten up so the gesture of Judas was empty.
  • KT doesn’t understand people that make conscious decisions then try to go back on it.
  • KT relies on Guillermo Del Toro for the depiction of what Satan looks like.
  • We discuss free will/free agency. KT has qualms with religions and cultures that introduce ‘The Big Bad’, ‘Evil’, ‘Satan’. Sometimes people are fucking assholes and they are doing it. Having the presence of a Satan allows people to distance themselves from their own actions.
  • There is no existence of any characters, including Jesus. We are literally focusing on the suffering of Jesus. To have a film that had so much torture, not showing Mary getting stoned felt deliberate.
  • We muse over power hierarchy and how strong Jesus was in human and final form.
  • Be weary of the honeyed tongue.

Unrelated but vital points

  • KT cannot reconcile the problematic logic of torturing one man to absolve all sins?
  • KT’s first viewing. She confused Apocalypto so wasn’t sure what this film will entail.
  • Oti tried to Tarantino Margot Robbie this film.
  • Oti auditions for Paul Bettany’s role in Angels and Demons.
  • KT claims that Oti is the epitome of Catholicism.
  • Faith works in mysterious ways.
  • It’s been a while since KT has been within the walls of a religious institution but she does lay at Oti’s altar every Sunday.
  • First preview of the FYR Curriculum, Theology 101 with Oti & KT.