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Son of God - A Movie Review
Movie - Son of God
The movie, Son of God, is a story that many are familiar with. It is the story of Jesus where he enters into more of the public eye as a man. It is directed by Christopher Spencer, and has four different writers. They are Richard Bedser, Christopher Spencer, Colin Swash and Nic Young. I have to mention the words "spoiler alert" for those that don't wish to spoil what might be said about the movie, in case you might see it. I never did see the series of "The Bible on the History Channel. It was an Emmy nominated series, and one I hope to catch up on one day.
While the story in this movie isn't new to me, the movie itself was. It is a fairly fast paced movie, in the sense that it runs through the events of Jesus' life quite quickly. In fact, the go back to the very beginning of the bible to show how Jesus was a part of the whole playing out of history. It highlights some key characters like Adam coming up out of the dust of the earth, Noah, Abraham, Moses, etc. It ties it all together and tells the story through the eyes of the beloved disciple John, while he is in his later years exiled off the island of Patmos.
Diego Morgado does a great job playing in the role of Jesus Christ in this movie. He did a fine job of acting in this role. The disciples I thought did a wonderful job, and thought they did a great job in the casting.
Part of my interest in seeing this movie is that I thought it might be interesting to compare the different movies that have been put out about the Bible and particularly about Jesus' life. There have been a fair amount over the years.
There is so much one could cover in the life of Jesus, that it has to be tough narrowing down a film or production to include the most important parts. So with that in mind, it was interesting to me to see what was chosen in this regard.
After a very brief visual overview of some of the highlights of the Old Testament. I imagine these scenes are from The Bible on the History Channel, it jumps right in. I did find the tying together to be a very purposeful point, as it was in essence putting off the art about Jesus' life, and setting the stage.
The movie jumps to the humble beginnings about Jesus and included the wise men from afar came to worship him and bring gifts. Pointing out there that this is no ordinary baby, and that his name is Jesus. They seemed to know he was coming.
It fairly quickly goes to the would be disciple Peter on a typical work day when the fish are not biting. Jesus approaches him to as if he needs help with anything to which he says, "No, and there is nothing to help with." Jesus then wades out into the water and asks for help into the boat, offering Peter a chance to change his life. Peter didn't seem to interested but takes him up on an offer to go out fishing together for just an hour before he decides. The huge amount of fish immediately caught catches Peter's attention enough to hear Jesus out. It goes from there.
There is a lot of focus on Peter throughout the movie, and in some ways more than some of the others I have seen about the life of Jesus. It is warranted though as Peter was a huge part of the public ministry of Jesus and afterward, even giving his own life as a Martyr. I did appreciate how the film mentioned at the end that they all did except John. They were scattered and confused and later became so strong in their mission to spread what they knew to be good news.
Taking and Arresting Jesus
Some Key Points in the Movie
There is some time spent on Jesus selecting his disciples who will work closely with him. They are in a process of sorts, believing Jesus but trying to fully grasp what is going on and where it is headed. The way Jesus picked out Matthew in particular was rather touching and I never saw that before in any other Jesus movie. Matthew, being a tax collector and not highly respected among the people, was chosen in part because he showed a humbleness of spirit that was sorry or what he had done. Compared to a hypocrite or pharisee, he was shown favor and welcomed with open arms.
There was a lot of focus on hypocrisy versus humbleness of spirit, which is echoed in the gospels. This is part of what feeds the distaste among the rulers of the day. I did notice some more emphasis on a few things that didn't ring a bell in the scriptures, so some literary license was worked in but that is always the case in movies such as these, or almost always.
One of the times when Jesus did a miracle, it was to heal the paralyzed man that was brought in on a mat while Jesus was teaching a crowd. They showed how he chose to say "your sins are forgiven," and this is a real eye brow raiser of course. It was considered blasphemy, because only one can forgive sins. It was then that Jesus responded that isn't it easier to say that than say to the paralyzed man, "stand up and walk?" So the miracles played out little by little.
The famous scene of the woman caught in the act of adultery played out, and showed how they were testing Jesus. He holds up a stone of his own for quite a while, and all eyes are on him to see what he will say. He says that he will give his stone to whoever has not sinned. They slowly drop their stones, and he bends down to tell her to go and sin no more. She is so thankful.
We saw Jesus teaching, drawing a lot of crowds and getting a lot of attention. He performs the feeding of the five thousand with some bread and fish, and the emphasis when given to the people is that it was from God. His followers and everyone were amazed.
This time the crowds numbers proved to make the authorities more nervous than ever. Jesus withdraws away for a little while because they want him to be their king and help them. They are beginning to think he is Messiah.
They show the part of the story where the disciples and Mary are out on the boat in the storm and Jesus walks on water to them. Thomas is doubting of course thinking it was a ghost. Peter is called out to have faith and walks until he doubts. I liked how the movie portrayed these different stories, in a new light with new eyes so to speak.
In the mean time there was some neat character development with Nicodemus, and also Caiaphas the High Priest. It was interesting that Mary Magdalene was with the disciples throughout the whole movie, and her sister Martha was only in the part where Lazarus their brother was being raised from the dead. Another interesting character development not usually seen was to highlight Barrabas, the criminal that was chosen to be set free.
Before long, the tone changes and the Passover is nearing. There is pressure mounting with the authorities and it was tied in to causing disruption over the passover. Jesus, when having his last meal with his disciples, seems to realize it through a type of vision in his mind. He sees himself in severe agony laying down, and announces it will be their last meal together. The disciples at this point did quite a stellar job and showing their grief and confusion, to which Jesus adds that one of them will betray Him. They are devastated, and the betrayal is followed by arrest at night, followed by imprisonment until they can try him. He is beaten, and ultimately they work out something where the sentence falls upon the crowd. Caesar rule extends a kind gesture to them that they can choose one prisoner to be let go. This was an interesting scene as we had gotten to know Barrabas before this point, which I hadn't experienced before. So the various angles created interest in light of the gospel accounts and other movies.
The horrible crucifixion begins after a long walk to the hill where it all takes place. The part of the 40 lashes wasn't as bad as Mel Gibson's "The Passion," but was fairly brutal in other regards. Like continual beating when I didn't expect it along the path when he was being crushed with the weight of the cross due to his broken body, etc.
John the disciple, Mary Magdalene and Mary mother of Jesus were the three that tried to keep up with it all until the last breath of Jesus. There were some special moments all along the way and I hope you can see the movie as I can't share it all here.
The parts of the thieves on the cross come across, and Jesus tells the one that seems to recognize his true situation, the reality of it all, that he will be with Jesus in paradise. It is so hard for Jesus to even speak, so every word is weighted. Jesus asks that God forgive them, for they don't know quite what they are doing.
One of the scenes that we see play out that is a little different is with Caiaphas during the crucifixion. He is back at the temple, doing all of the ceremonial stuff, including being dressed in the finest priestly robes, and killing of a lamb, and sacrifice of doves, etc. I had not seen this angle before where it was as if, "Meanwhile, back at the temple."
There was a part where the wife of Pilot had her dream and begged him to not get involved. She was very upset days before, and during this conviction and crucifixion process she reminds him he will regret this. Pilot tells her no, they have killed Jews before, and that they will all forget about Jesus in a week. She says no, this one is different.
Back at the temple, a large earthquake takes place when Jesus dies. They really emphasized it, along with a storm, etc.
Jesus is buried, and like the grave scene with Lazarus, you are in the tomb with Jesus for a moment. When they close it, the stone is rolled over the front of it, from the point of view of the inside and goes dark.
Some Key Lines or Scenes that Struck Me
There were a few lines that struck me that I want to share. I hadn't quite experienced some of this in the other films. When Jesus and Barrabas are being put out in front of all the priests and the people to choose, they start murmuring. Some start whispering Barrabas, and then it grows to a shout. Mary Magdalene's character (Amber Rose Reva), as she is seeing what is happening, begins to shout out "Jesus! Jesus!" over and over. This was very touching, as she couldn't seem to believe they were choosing to shout Barrabas, to be freed. Seeing her trying so hard to shout the name of Jesus over the crowd was heartbreaking almost.
The line I mentioned previously, where Pilot says to his wife, in essence, "Nah, they will all forget him in a week." It just struck me in light of what has happened since, so it was a little clever insert there that kind of jumped out.
One the more heartbreaking scenes where a line jumped out to me was from the disciple Peter, when they were coming with torches and swords to arrest Jesus. This was an interesting scene. They allow Peter to fight them off as hard as they can, to the point of cutting off the ear of one of them. We all can imagine this scene playing out. This time, you hear Peter screaming back to a calm Jesus, "Jesus, run! Run, Jesus, run!" He says it many times. It just breaks your heart, as he is realizing Jesus isn't going to run at all. Then the look on the soldier's face who is holding his bleeding head, as the man he is trying to arrest heals his ear. Lots of "wow" moments like that throughout.
Movie Trailer for Son of God
I would recommend this movie. If for no other reason than that this particular story has influenced and continues to make a huge difference in the life of people world over. It helps to understand what Jesus taught and went through, and lets us know some of the teachings of Christ, which include how to pray in one of the scenes.
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© 2014 Paula