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The Passion of the Christ
The Passion of the Christ
                                  Rated: R
                    Running Time: 127 minutes
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Addiction Level Rating: 5 CCs

Mel Gibson tackles a tremendous task-taking a story that very few people are unfamiliar with and adding newness to it. With Gibsons direction, you get a different feel for the passion story that can not be captured in words. I thought the human qualities of Jesus really shined through in the performance by Jim Caviezel, especially in the opening sequence. Even the portrayal of evil had a very humanistic quality. Several times throughout the film earthly creatures with a devilish demeanor bring the eerie presence of Satan and temptation.

   The film takes place in the last twelve hours of Jesus of Nazareth's life. It begins in a mystical forest setting with the apostles in slumber. Jesus is the only one who is not asleep because he can sense his impending judgment. He knows what lies ahead, but being human as he is makes it that more difficult to face his fate.
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Throughout his ordeal of capture, torture and ultimate death, the story has flashbacks to earlier days in Jesus life. These scenes captured the bond between Jesus and his disciples. They also showed of the loving and playful relationship Jesus had with his mother.

The movie was billed as graphic and this is true, but the violence was portrayed in a very tasteful manner. The only over the top blood letting is when Jesus' side was pierced on the cross; even this scene can be viewed as symbolic in nature.

Mary was a real strong character in the film as well. She was not portrayed as a gorgeous or radiant woman rather as a simple women noted for her inner strength.

Veronica is always been a person in the passion story that I have admired. She is a woman who comes to Jesus in his most desperate hour.  She approaches Jesus when most people are trying to distance themselves from him. She brings him water and tries to aid him in his journey to crucifixion. I see this character as someone who did not know a great deal about Jesus, but was moved by his spirit. I note this because it was captured with great care in the movie.

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You will leave this movie with a sense of sadness, but with also a heightened sense of hope. The Passion of the Christ was marvelous in its attempt to bring about the most moving of all human stories. It is a storytelling triumph that goes beyond any religious connotations.

Some might be turned away from the movie because it is in Aramaic and subtitled in English. Trust me when I say this is not a deterrent to the film. As with any good foreign film, the story and the character involvement will ease the reading. For non-foreign film watchers wanting a little brush up, go rent Life is Beautiful. You will notice how quickly you are enjoying the beauty of the film and not worrying about the subtitles.

People will surely be lined up in droves for the first week of this movie. If you can stand to wait in line, rush out and see this movie as soon as possible.

-Jayson Floyd


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