Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Review: The Last temptation of Christ

This (at the moment) rates 7.5 on IMDB which is pretty high for a film and I can only say I'm very glad someone enjoyed the film because I didn't.

Snorefest is what I would rate this one.

I'm not a very religious or Christian person, but that that wasn't what made it boring. I have no problem watching something like Jesus Christ Superstar or even the nativity stories kids put on at school.

My main problem was, this was 164 mins long, it felt longer. It should have been shorter and felt shorter.

Also, I want to know why so often you see a Jesus story and Judas seems just so much more likable than Jesus? Is this just me or is it the actors or directors or what? This was especially so in The Last Temptation of Christ which I felt was more like the Least Tempting of Christ.

Christ wasn't that tempting at all. We start off with Jesus portrayed as a carpenter who seems indecisive, mixed up, weak, whiny and not that inspired. There isn't that much really convincing given why people would really feel inspired and awestruck by this guy. Judas at least looked like a guy who wanted to lead, who inspired direction in others.

The scene with John the Baptist just wasn't that convincing to me - and for that matter, call me a romantic but I always pictured John the baptist as, well, a bit more appealing. Not like a gorgeous young thing or anything but not having that scratchy voice and all.

I guess I also didn't really like the Sermon on the Mount scene. What happened there?

But if anything really disappointed it was Mary Magdalene.

Yes, Mary was a whore or so many people say, but I think most people are supposed to like her. And history and art are strewn with likable or relatable to prostitutes from Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman to Belle Watling in Gone With the Wind. But there wasn't anything really to like or care about Mary here - she didn't look nice or act nice.

Maybe there will be cries of "but that's just how it was, probably" but I think there is more to art than giving you a CCTV image of what things were like - it's about creating something that tells a story, creates emotion, develops character, brings out themes, blah blah. Couldn't really care for Mary that much and I guess I was wanting to and expected to.

I didn't feel that there was a lot to this story, just a string of events but no sense of real drama, story, revelation - ok, that could be because I did drop to sleep during part of it.



Maria said...

By the way I have read many of the commentson IMDB about this film and many seem to focus on the controversy surrounding the film - it isn't biblically accurate and it shows Jesus as a man who sinned. And it insinuates that those who like or dislike it are those who have strong feelings about the controversy one way or the other.

However I still have to say that my main charge against this is that it was boring and too darn long.

Yes, also the main characters in it weren't fantastically acted and not ones I related to in the way I wanted to. i think the thing is that when you go into a Jesus story film they direct it in such a way that you are expected to have some familiarity with the basic story and characters beforehand, which means you probably have some preconceived ideas about events and main characters. But then some of them expect to just dash all those and then expect you to be really happy with that too.

But the inaccuracy wasn't the biggest beef, after all I've watched Jesus Christ Superstar and I thought it was really quite good. And I'm aware that Judas probably wasn't a black guy (as in one version) or Quentin Tarantino's body double (other version) and people probably didn't burst out singing and dancing pop tunes to solve all their most serious problems way back then.

TimT said...

What I want to know is, why do they keep on making the same Jesus film over and over again? We've got enough remakes already. We completely fail to develop his narrative arc. How about 'Jesus - the Wilderness Years'! Or 'A While by the Nile with Mr and Mrs Christ and Jesus'. Or 'Jesus does America!' (The Mormon version - or possibly the National Lampoon version.)

Maria said...

I think "Life of Brian" was a different Jesus film!

Maybe we could do a kind of timetravel Jesus one where Jesus gets in a timemachine and visits different times. I'd like to see Jesus in our times and how he'd be a star with all his disciples being his best Facebook friends.

A Pixar version perhaps?

Or maybe a romcom Jesus story where he and Mary Magdalene meet up.