Roger Ebert reviews The Passion of The Christ.
I am really impressed by his review because it’s so thoughtful and honest. He’s not particularly religious (although he used to be an altar boy, apparently), but I think he shows great respect for the film’s intent.
Personally, I have no desire to see it – I’m sufficiently capable of feeling empathy for characters in movies that I know it will be like volunteering to be tortured for two hours. Not my idea of a good time. I didn’t see “Saving Private Ryan” either, for approximately the same reason, and disliked “Braveheart” for the same reason as well.
Plus, I’ve never subscribed to the “look! Christ suffered for you! Be grateful, you unworthy dog!” version of Christianity, anyway. Even when I was a regular churchgoer and taking confirmation class and everything, I always put the focus on the resurrection and the fact that even though the disciples screwed up and were utter lamers a fair bit of the time, Christ loved them. I’ve never cared much for religions that try to make you feel guilty and like you’re an unworthy, miserable piece of crap.
I’m quite capable of doing that to myself, thank you.
And anyway, if Christ wanted us to feel miserable and depressed and guilty all the time, I suspect he would have been more of a guilt-tripper himself. But he seems like he was a pretty nice guy most of the time, focusing on people being good to each other and doing the right thing. I’m not the sort of person to rejoice in another’s suffering, so seeing him suffer isn’t going to make me feel good, even on a “wow, look what he did for me” level.
So… yeah. I’m not planning to see “The Passion of The Christ.” I am fully behind Gibson’s right to make it and am intrigued by people’s opinions of it, but I don’t want to see it.
Also, from what I’m hearing I really think the MPAA has a lot to answer for – they rated it R, and almost certainly because they didn’t want to offend the Christians in the audiences, not because they thought it didn’t warrant an NC-17.