The Passion of Christ
Earlier tonight, I locked myself out of the apartment. I went downstairs to put in a couple loads of laundry and forget my keys. In that Choo-Choo couldn’t let me back in, I went looking for the building engineer. Thankfully he was around. I had to listen to him blab on for 30minutes about the goings on in the apartment building and neighborhood, but a small price to pay for locking myself out.
In more important news, I went to see The Passion of Christ last Saturday. I didn’t write about it then, as I was unsure of my feeling for the movie. No question about it, it’s cinematically well done. However, I was uncomfortable with the violent nature of the film. So upset was I by the constant scenes of brutality that at one point, I contemplated walking out. But I stuck around, not because I didn’t know how the story would end, but because I wanted to see just how far Mel Gibson would go. Let me say that he went very far. Thus I’m surprised that this move got an R rating and not an NC 17 rating. The Passion of Christ is by far the most violent movie I’ve ever seen — hands down. Nothing I’ve seen before on film comes close to the brutality depicted in this movie. As such, if I had children of a minor age, I wouldn’t want them to see it. I think back to certain scenes and just cringe. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was depicted with such savagery, that it almost took away from Mel’s point — whatever that was suppose to be. Maybe Mel felt like he had to make such as a violent film as he wanted us to fully understand the kind of torture that Christ experienced, but I think he went too far. Thinking he could have balanced it out a bit by focusing a little more of Jesus’ life; explaining why he was willing to die for our sins. Granted most of us already know the story, but portraying that part in the film would have make it easier for me to comprehend why the brutality was so over the top.
March 7, 2004 at 3:47 pm
It didn’t get an NC-17 rating for two reasons. The first is that it is a “passion” play which is to say that the violence depicted is par for the course when it comes to those type of things.
Secondly, and probably more importantly, the MPAA is run by the religious right. If “suzy homemaker” in kansas can be offended by what she sees in a film, the MPAA will label the film at the minimum PG-13. Of course, if “suzy homemaker” is a religous nut, the chances of labeling a passion play with the standard rating reserved for “porn,” are rather slim.
For a bit of insight, Henry & June was the first film ever hung (pardon the pun) with the NC-17 rating. Red Dawn was the first film released with the PG-13 rating (Flamingo Kid was the first film “given” an PG-13 rating but sat on the shelves for some time.)
Which begs the question, is sex that much worse than violence to the MPAA?
March 6, 2004 at 6:11 pm
You’ve brought up a VERY interesting point that I haven’t heard anyone else mention. The fact that due to violence, this movie should have gotten an NC-17 rating. I wonder how that ever slipped past the powers that be?
And I’m also glad you mentioned that this movie surpasses any violence in any movie you have seen. It takes away from arguement some people say that there are a ton of violent, what’s wrong with this one? Well you said it, it’s the most gruesome picture out there…be it about Jesus or not.
I haven’t seen the movie and I will not. Not just because I’m not a movie person, but because I’m more than disturbed by the wave of conservatisim blowing through the air. Maybe I wouldn’t be so jaded if there was an equally passionate movie version of the “Da Vinci Code” or equally violent movie about the Crusades. Give some balance.