Apr 18, 2006

Overrated films part 14.

I was sitting around with friends this weekend talking about movies. We debated the end of 'Apocalypse Now' and discussed the merits of the career of John Ford. We turned to the now seemingly old discussion of 'Brokeback Mountain'.

None of the friends have seen it nor did they share any interest in doing so. They all agreed that they were tired of the supposed cliche that if you haven't seen it and enjoyed it you are somehow homophobic. They seemed proud of their rebellious stance against anyone who accuses them of being gay bashers. I've never met anyone so simple minded to make such accusations and I hope not to. Most guys are simply not into love stories period. I'm one of the few that do enjoy them and I make no apologies for it.

I did feel similar accusations when 'The Passion of the Christ' came out. There was this "if you don't see it and like it you're not a good Christian" mentality. I find the statement ridiculous, but I do find it funny that conservatives who preached this found themselves under similar attacks from the left recently.

'The Passion of the Christ' is a good movie. It has great elements. The acting is superb. The cinematography is fantastic. I've never seen a better representation of Satan nor Mary on film. It sets an amazing mood for the gospel adaptation, but it really doesn't have any plot and that I find frustrating as hell. I understand that Passion plays are only about the trial and crucifixion, but to release a major film and not tell your audience anything more about the main character than showing him get an extremely violent flogging is disingenuous to the narrative. The end is also weak and should have been cut to director Gibson's original intended ending of a recreation of the Pieta. Sorry if I spoiled it for you.

The movie is told through Mary's (the virgin, not the plot point of a pulp Dan Brown novel) eyes and it's powerfully executed (no pun intended). That's only if you know the gospels. I took my then girlfriend to see the movie and she left the theatre thinking 'well it sucked to be him.' Yes she's never been to a mass in her life.

The controversial film opened to huge box office success and is considered one of the most successful movies ever. Numerous people were claiming instant conversions to Christianity. It was amazing how a subtitled film that wasn't directed by Ang Lee was packing the auditoriums. Controversy was abound as numerous media sources were reporting it's alleged anti-Semitic slant. Critics were split on the quality of this film and it's vocal proponents, including it's director, staunch Catholic Mel Gibson, were quick to defend the story flaws expressing the critique was due to anti-Christian sentiment. My walk with Christ should never be called into question because of my enjoyment of a Hollywood film.

Passion of the Christ clips with introduction by Mel Gibson:

"A film so narrowly focused as to be inaccessible for all but the devout." - Kenneth Turan


jinsane said...

Well, I, for one, enjoyed Brokeback Mountain - I even cried.

However, I have not seen The Passion of the Christ. I really couldn't tell you why, because I am a devout Catholic. I just never had an interest in seeing it. I'm more a fan of the less-talked about movies, than the big blockbuster types. Does that make me an evil person?

Wiwille said...

No it doesn't make you an evil person to not watch a film; however I would consider Brokeback Mountain far more of a blockbuster than Passion of the Christ was, but I guess that depends on your definition. It's a good movie though and worth a look.