Critique- the passion (Mel Gibson)

The Passion film Set

The Passion film Set (Photo credit: hyperbros)

8.  04

The passion

The film is no doubt multi tiered, and deep in many levels, far too much to mention briefly. Mel Gibson had his hands full here, so these are just observations from what I think is most important.

The casting, directing, music, set decor, cinematography, etc, etc. speaks to itself as exceptional. There is an emotional structure that none could deny, but this should not be confused with what is spiritual.

I was interested mostly in seeing how authentic to the scriptures it was from a doctrinal view, but in noting the interpretations and the additions TO the scriptures,  thus it wasn’t  a difficult charge.  The Lord leaning on the tree in the garden prior to his arrest (was that supposed to be a picture of how Adam fell?) showed an obvious weakness in the Lord’s manhood.

He was presented as just another man dealing with pressure. He asks ‘rise up and defend me’???? Satan appears in the garden, (why in God’s name would he be portrayed as a female) and that silly worm in her mouth, or whatever it was, then the serpent on the ground was rather perverse. It is this liberty that lowered my estimation of the film every time ‘additions’ were presented. However, the Satan character was interesting, but not a bite of truth.

The scene at the last supper, ‘let this chalice pass from me,’ was a direct inference not to theology, but to religion. The chalice is tangible, where the correct rendering ‘cup’ refers to the entire ordeal of being delivered up, and being made sin. Thus, a built in bias.

When the Lord was finally delivered into the hands of men via Judas, the statement ‘I am he,’ could have easily met with them ‘falling backwards,’ after all this was the word of God…………….As far as good television, the fight scene was put together well, and the reality of a man’s ear being healed was pretty good, even though the scriptures do not say the Lord picked up his ear off the ground!!!

The first intro of Mary revealed her intuition, which was quite a stretch, and each succcessive portrait of her brought the Lord down lower and lower………….The Lord tossed off the cliff in chains was melodramatic, but thats all. The Lord was never thrown off a cliff, as a matter of fact, it was tried, but it did not happen.

Mary recounts the Lord as her son making the table, and she muses that his invention would not fly; that was rather stupid. At the trials (mock) the characters again were interesting in their perversion, but how much of that was true?

Peter calls Mary ‘mother’ as if she is the mother of us all………………he calls the rascals ‘little Satans’ and was tortured by them. Judas and the rope from the donkey was appealing, but it did not appeal to my sense of spirituality…………….

The beatings and the blood bath on the ground was overkill, as scripture is surely silent on that point, I do not think people should have that kind of liberty, there was certainly enough of what we do know, and the over-emphasis on speculation was meant to appeal to the emotion I’m certain.

The recalling of the elders throwing down stones from their hands was moving, but was it true? A simple thing like the Lord’s coat without seam could have easily been introduced, yet, his clothes were ripped from his body………every so often the Lord recounted moments of his teachings, that was probably the best part, for it was biblical, but there was the impression that the Lord was reminiscing…………..

At the crucifixion, the guard yanks the Lords shoulder and you hear a crack as if something breaks (not a bone of him was broken) the nailing, and the squirting of blood was darn near obscene, for if scripture does not tell us, who has this kind of liberty for a report like this….

The Lord holds the cup and says.’this is my blood of the new covenant,’ and the suggestion of the mass was palpable…. The thief and the raven plucking the eyes, again entertaining, but an insult to the narrative. The thunder, the wind, things being overturned in the (temple??) were object lessons I guess, but I was not convinced. The repentant miscreant was a good scene.


Spectacular movie, award winning actors, (even though the casting of Italians was a downer, probably an appeal to the masses) but I failed to see the Lord Jesus of the scriptures, and the Son of God was shown to be largely the son of Mary. The additions of so many non biblical words and events must make a thinking person suspicious of what is real and true………….I did get the impression there was a subtle line that taught since the Lord died on the cross, everything is fine, and I think that if Paul saw the film, he would have many of the concerns that I raise.

Was I left with the truth that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners?? Was I left with the impression that there are none good no not any??? (the film clearly showed for example that Mary was good……….) I noticed a disregard for the scriptures, (while the attempt was made to honour the scriptures) but a regard for religion.

Yes, the film was religious, and should appeal to the prurient nature of man, which still leaves him in his sins. A non believer would be moved to compassion by such treatment of an innocent man, and have no problem continuing in a life of sin, after all, Christ died for our sins, so whats the problem??

Finally, I failed to see the Lord portrayed as son of God, and the emphasis on his humanity was perhaps what the director wanted. On the cross, the cry of ‘Eli,’ seemed to be an utterance by a man who did not know…rather than by a man, as son of God, who was proving that even in death, man does not live by bread alone. but by EVERY word of God, a citing of the Psalm that every person of the remnant would understand……….

The opening scripture to Is.53 was good, but I did not see that translated into the reality that ‘the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all..’ Would I recommend the film?? Only in the sense that it is not an accurate account, but for entertainment wrapped in religion, which may get a person thinking…………….but in what way is the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus entertaining??? The effort is commendable, but on a scale of 1-10, I give it a 2.

About ColorStorm

Blending the colorful issues of life with the unapologetic truth of scripture, while adding some gracious ferocity.
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7 Responses to Critique- the passion (Mel Gibson)

  1. I’m glad you sent this link. This was helpful and corrected some of my own shallower thinking about the film. This helped me to see just how unBiblical it was – and really, what do we want or need with unBiblical?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Colorstorm says:

      There is always good and bad with these kind of things. One just needs to discern the difference, and this doesn’t happen overnight.

      What did you appreciate the most that helped you?


      • Jack, you noticed things I didn’t, and placed less importance on the artistry of the film than I did.

        This comment is helpful and reminds me of the Word of God dividing both soul and spirit: “There is an emotional structure that none could deny, but this should not be confused with what is spiritual.”

        You saw that “the correct rendering ‘cup’ refers to the entire ordeal of being delivered up, and being made sin.” I noticed the use of “chalice” and didn’t like it, but failed to see the implications of changing cup (the full true meaning) to chalice.

        You noticed this and its take-away value: “The Lord leaning on the tree in the garden prior to his arrest … showed an obvious weakness in the Lord’s manhood.”

        I didn’t notice this or its significance: “At the crucifixion, the guard yanks the Lords shoulder and you hear a crack as if something breaks (not a bone of him was broken)…” This wasn’t trivial, a small addition to the filmscript. It’s major.

        Another thing you saw was that Mary becomes progressively more exalted, and that the Lord Jesus was too human in the bad or weak sense. (I did notice that Peter called her “mother”.)

        You wrote: “I did get the impression there was a subtle line that taught since the Lord died on the cross, everything is fine…” Didn’t get this, but it’s very important – everything is not fine.

        This was a good analysis. One thing I noticed was that though this was seen as an antisemitic movie, and maybe it was, Gibson focused hugely on the very worst aspects of both Jew and Gentile enemies of Christ.

        About the Italians – I guess that’s okay, but the Latin – the Lord speaking Latin was a real negative to me.

        Thanks for this review and sending the link!!


        Liked by 1 person

        • Colorstorm says:

          Hey M-
          Your eye for detail is pretty sharp. Yes, the film had value, in the sense it got people talking and possibly thinking. That is always good.

          A whole lot of liberty though in a loose and careless way with scripture; something so significant as the death of the son of God, one really should pay closer attention to the text of scripture.

          You pretty much summed up what I saw and wrote-nice work-

          all the best Maria- and Tom

          (I did give it 2 or three thumbs up, I recall)

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Tiribulus says:

    This was a great post Colorstorm. I never could bring myself to see this movie. Maybe I should, just for the polemic value. There’s a reason God gave us His inscripturated word in non visual written form before the age of photography and film.

    Do you have a Facebook page by any chance.

    Liked by 1 person

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