Monday, March 24, 2014

Son of God (2014)

A review from Crisis:
Some critics fault the Son of God for being a film made for believers, aimed at the choir, and faith-based—but these are not real reasons by which to judge the merit of a film.  The problem with Son of God is its lack of cinematic originality and its complete lack of subtlety in its approach to the person of Christ.  He is from the get-go the confident, charming, and horridly handsome miracle-worker in which nearly everything pronounced by Morgado is said in a declaratory tone, proclaimed for its pious effect on those gathered about him. For most of the movie Jesus is a kind of animated, engaging, very attractive holy card. This Christ is only what is expected with few new insights to take an audience deeper into the mystery of redemption and the drama of salvation.

The movie rises to another level beginning with the Last Supper scene. Here Christ becomes more real, more authentically human. The pious proclamation of doctrines gives way as he now speaks to his apostles as if having a real conversation. Perhaps the intimacy of the Upper Room lends itself to this more personal, less stagy, less piously self-aware dramatization. Indeed, the entire passion episode was the best part of the film—oddly when Christ was not publicly preaching or performing any miracles! I give credit to Morgado for making me believe that Christ was indeed in pain as when the crown of thorns was thrust on his head.  The holy card Jesus was gone—and the real, rejected Jesus was there—only to have the holy card Jesus return in the post resurrection scenes, complete with a see-though hole in his hand accompanied by stirring music. (Read more.)

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