So it was with curiosity that I approached Martin Scorsese's controversial 1988 film The Last Temptation of Christ. Taking a much broader canvas, a much more biopic-friendly (if you will) glance at a hypotheticised life of Jesus. Last Temptation if you're unaware, strips the myth of Jesus and recasts him as a mere human. A man who has fears, desires and intimate thoughts. It was this very idea - that Jesus wasn't entirely omnipitent and sin-free and had sexual desires - that lead to countrywide (in the USA anyway, who knows what happened elsewhere) protests and calls for the film to be banned. But isn't that a bit silly and hypocritical? How come these audiences (y'all know who they are) could protest a movie that sympathises with Jesus and asks audiences to follow him on a spiritual journey of discovery (that eventually ends with Jesus realising that the way of the devil is no way at all) yet Hardcore Smut Porn Passion of the Christ pulls in some of the biggest box office of all time?
It's not my place to guess what was going through the minds of these people (apparently, some of the groups that spearheaded the campaign against the film have since revoked it and claimed it as a testement to their religion), but I can't help but imagine they were the same people who have tried to get so many films banned without even seeing it.
What I saw, and I am coming from a completely unbiased point of view - I'm neither for or against religion althought I do have my own beliefs - was a masterful recreation of a time and place and a man who would go on to change the world (whether he was really a messiah or not is not the point). It shows a man struggling with his demons (literal demons. Satan is right there), yet who comes out the other side of his life redeemed and, yes, "accomplished". To me, there is more spirit and faith in The Last Tempation of Christ's notorious fantasy sequence (in which Jesus flashes to a life of marriage and fatherhood with Mary Magdalene), than there was the entirety of The Passion of the Christ.
Whether you're religious or not isn't the matter with Scorsese's film (for which he received a Best Director Oscar nomination). Just think of it as the story of man who fought his demons for the (some would say) better of mankind. The film is visually truimphant, as is Peter Gabriel's haunting and stunning music. The Last Temptation of Christ is a grand operatic exercise in storytelling of the highest order. Leave your beliefs at the door and let the film wash over you. You'll be better for it. A
This was just another "review" by me where I typed out random thoughts without cohesion or sense. Oh well. Dems da breaks, as they say.