214 of 233 people found the following review helpful
Listen to the commentary - much revealed,
This review is from: The Last Temptation of Christ (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
First of all, this area is SUPPOSED to be for reviews of this movie, not dire warnings of damnation if one watches it. It is JUST a movie....something tells me Jesus and his believers can survive it. Please don't turn this forum into a religious debate.
I think anyone who purchases this DVD edition of the film should definitely go back and listen to the director/actor/screenwriter commentary included with the film. In it, Marty and the screenwriter explain why they used the actors they did, and why they used today's vernacular. They had the characters speak this way so that the viewer is more aware that the players in the New Testament WERE human, just like us. Marty believed that the stilted English of the King James Court, with its "thou's" and "ye's" (and having absolutely NO relation to the way people spoke at the time) serves to distance modern viewers from the pain and doubt that both Jesus has his followers underwent.
Marty also was desperate to counter the prevalent depiction of Jesus in film that has him 100% "divine", with a golden light shining behind his head, with the divine little smile and the gentle words. He wanted to use the idea in the Bible that Jesus was also fully human, subject to both physical AND mental anguish. The latter is the point that Gibson missed in his film. Anyone who has ever lost a child or had to make an agonizing decision knows that mental anguish can be as painful as any physical torment. This movie is about the true temptation Jesus underwent, to deny God and run away from his destiny. All of us can identify with that.
I find this Jesus far more compelling than the Jesus I grew up with in Sunday school. This Jesus is not perfect. He hurts and has soubts and depressions like I do. And yet he gives his body and mind to God in the end.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 18, 2010 10:58:57 AM PST
a lot of people call this heresy and think watching it will curse you, but i can't help agreeing with you about the mental torture. He was being tempted in the wilderness 40 days and nights. people want you to think in all that time he was only being tempted to turn stones into bread and jump from high places. i believe He was tempted in all manner of mental issues including sexual and other issues. how could Jesus relate to any one of us unless He was tempted the same ways we are?
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2011 9:32:55 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 5, 2011 9:37:30 PM PST
David Bailey says:
Posted on Aug 2, 2011 8:19:19 PM PDT
Posted on Mar 26, 2013 8:02:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2013 6:55:37 PM PDT
Mr. Contrarian says:
My problem with this movie has nothing to do with its religious content, heretical or not. My problem is that the Jesus presented by Scorsese and Dafoe is flat out weird, perhaps even bi-polar.
I have no problem with Scorsese providing a more human angle on Jesus, nor with vernacular language. The original premise of Jesus being tempted to not accept crucifixion but to live a normal life is, at its core, a profound philosophical concern. The author of the original book, Nikos Kazantzakis, did us a great service by merely asking the question of whether Jesus would be tempted to choose a different path. Thus I had high hopes for this movie.
But I was disappointed. Consider the following:
1 - Jesus apologizes to his mother, before being nailed to the cross, by saying "Mother, I am sorry that I was such a bad son." This is one of many actions and statements that indicate that he has very poor self image. Another would be his groveling in the first scene with Mary Magdalene.
2 - Jesus says "I am God" a number of times during the movie. This, obviously, is nearly the opposite of poor self image. It is grandiose -- unless he really is God. If he really is God, why is he such a poor son? (see first point above)
3 - Jesus persuades Judas to betray him and ensure that he is killed. Almost anybody would regard this as a kind of suicide, and as being mentally ill (at least temporarily).
If nothing else, this kind of behavior is to be pitied, not admired, whether a person is a Christian or not. People who see this movie portraying Jesus as "deeply human" are mistaken. This Jesus is not normal. At a minimum, he is rather strange. Perhaps not truly mentally ill, perhaps not bipolar, but this is not behavior to admire nor emulate (again, regardless of whether a person is Christian or not).
If you want to read my own full review, look for it under the "three star" ratings.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 29, 2013 10:24:16 AM PDT
Chris Cox says:
as far i am concerned the entire religious right is mentally/morlly/politically and socially ill. they think this country "belongs" to them..no it does not..not by a long-shot!
Posted on Sep 29, 2013 6:30:26 AM PDT
S. Raffield says:
I couldn't agree with you more.
As a film, it's wonderful, but as an EXPERIENCE, The Last Temptation has no equal.
You're right. Mel Gibson completely missed the point by focusing only on the physical anguish.
Nobody can identify with being the Messiah, but EVERYONE can identify with wanting to forsake responsibility for a peaceful life.
Posted on Feb 12, 2016 3:57:41 PM PST
the Gospel of Truth, http://wwwscientifichumanism.blogspot.com
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