Directed by: Mel Gibson
Premise: A film about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (Jim Caviezel).
What Works: This film demonstrates a high level of technical craft. The cinematography and editing are suburb. The score by John Debney punctuates the emotional cues very closely.
What Doesn’t: Unfortunately, the film is an example of style without substance. There is no story to speak of; the film demonstrates Christ’s suffering but does not historicize his life or his messianic significance to the Christians. This leaves the audience with a portrayal of a man’s torture and death with no perspective on the significance of his death. More troubling is the way Gibson uses the extreme gore and torture. The film links Christ’s suffering to his holiness, communicating to the audience that piety and goodness are achieved through suffering.
Bottom Line: The technical superiority of the film cannot overcome the shallowness of its content. The Passion uses technical slickness to impress the viewer but it cannot escape the emptiness of its meaning.
Episode: #NA (January 2, 2005)