Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Most negative review?

I referred to Geoff Pevere's Toronto Star review of The Passion of the Christ as the most negative I'd seen so far. David Mackinder refers me to Gregg Easterbrook's widely-read Easterblogg. In the entry dated 02.25.04, he refers to Mel Gibson's deeply cynical accomplishment and says:
"The Gospels emphasize Christ's suffering on the cross; Gibson has decided to emphasize Christ's suffering via the whip. Strange that Gibson should feel he understands Jesus' final hours better than the Gospel writers did. Maybe this is simply his artistic interpretation--but remember, Gibson is presenting his movie as the long-suppressed truth, not as an artistic interpretation that may or may not be right.

Beneath all the God-talk by Gibson is a commercial enterprise. Gibson's film career has been anchored in glorification of violence (the Mad Max movies) and in preposterous overstatement of the actual occurrence of violence (the Lethal Weapon movies). Gibson knows the sad Hollywood lesson--for which audiences are ultimately to blame--that glorifying or exaggerating violence is a path to ticket sales. So Gibson decides to make a movie about Jesus, and what one thing differentiates his movie from the many previous films of the same story? Exaggerated glorification of violence."

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