Friday, February 28, 2014

Movie Review: Son of God - PG13

Most of us are familiar with the life of Jesus in the New Testament, and as shown in movies, but there is something very special about how He is portrayed by Diogo Morgado.  It's the subtleties like a facial expression, a look in the eyes,  or tone of voice that make Diogo's portrayal so realistic and so moving.    I felt closer to the person of Jesus, his humanity,  both during and after the movie.  I especially liked how he reacted in the temple, when he overturned the moneychangers' tables.

As I watched Son of God, I couldn't help but compare  the passion scenes to those portrayed in the Passion of the the Christ, perhaps because it is among the most recent of movies about Jesus.  Passion of of the Christ used more intense brutality to convey the horror of Jesus' passion,  but there was somehow more realism to those scenes in Son of God.

I think Judas was portrayed as too sympathetic, almost as a victim, as if he were duped by the High Priest to whom he  betrayed Jesus.  He spent a good part of the movie complaining and questioning Jesus, so it feels like he was moving toward the betrayal for a while.

Peter was  portrayed just right: he wanted to be strong after Jesus called him Rock ("and upon this Rock I will build my Church"), but felt a lot of guilt over denying Him.  I found the scene where Jesus first called Peter to join Him particularly entertaining :)

Roma Downey was good as Mary and was as distraught as you'd expect from a mother whose Son was being scourged and crucified.

My favorite scene was the ascension, and how Jesus' Disciples were emboldened by His resurrection and ascension:  Peter announces "We have work to do!"

I strongly encourage everyone to see Son of God, especially so close to Lent.  It will bring you closer to Jesus.

1 comment:

Alan Aversa said...

So, I saw this movie, and there are many inaccuracies (list roughly from worst to less worse):

• The piercing of the side of Christ didn't show blood and water spewing out!
• Mary Magdalen was constantly a tag-along with the disciples: when they were in the tempest in the sea and even during the "laying on of hands" after the Resurrection!
• Mother Mary was not in the Upper Room!
• Peter denied Christ 3× in the morning, in broad daylight, not before the cock crow, which we didn't even hear!
• Peter's faith was portrayed as though it, not Peter himself, was the rock upon which the Church is built, as though our faith makes the Church. This is Protestant ecclesiology. The Church still exists even when we are unfaithful.
• "The gates of hell will not prevail" etc. was omitted in Jesus' saying Matt. 16:18.
• "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil" was omitted from the Our Father.
• The renting of the veil was not explicitly shown.

I liked how the Pharisees and high priests were portrayed. I liked how Judas spit out the body of Christ after he ran away from the Last Supper (cf. 1 Cor. 11:27). I liked who they cast as Mother Mary; she looked like she was in her mid-40s, unlike Monica Belucci in Gibson's Passion. I liked the inclusion of many of Jesus's miracles.

However, the film was ecumenical. Jews, Catholics, and Protestants were all consulted.

Interestingly, ADL's Abraham H. Foxman thinks it's less anti-Semitic than Mel Gibson's film. I do agree with him that the Pharisees and high priests were portrayed more deeply than in Gibson's film, although I strongly disagree that Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich was "anti-Semitic"…