I watched Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ" today and I think it merits a blog entry. Instead of concentrating on the movie's polemical side I would like to compare Passion with Gibson's hit "Braveheart". I noticed some blatant similarities between the two movies, but I'm a "Braveheart" nut and watching it over a thousand times gives me an inside advantage. After noticing the correlations between the two movies I was thinking Gibson either has some illusions of grandeur or a longstanding movie martyr complex.
Braveheart: (William Wallace) Common man--> eminence transformation with a loyal following by fighting an established powerhouse nation and in the end betrayal leads to his capture. Subsequently he is led through a mob of people who spit and throw objects at his body and face. He then undergoes a horrendous procession of torture displayed in front of the mob. To the surprise of his captors, the crowd, and the two or three William Wallace loyalists hiding in the crowd, Wallace displays his unyielding conviction for his cause by yelling "Freedom" at the top of his lungs amidst being disemboweled. The body is not buried and his quest for freedom is carried on by his loyal followers.
Passion: (Jesus) Common man-->eminence transformation with a loyal following due to acts of kindness with poor and performance of miracles while claiming he is the messiah. He threatens an established religion (Judaism) and in the end betrayal leads to his capture and subsequently he is led through a mob of people, mostly in agreement with his torture, while being badly beaten along the way. He undergoes an ugly sequence of torturous acts while walking to the site of his crucifiction. In a brilliant display of tolerance and conviction Jesus surprises his persecutors when he says "Father forgive them for they do not know what they do". He is crucified and not buried while his followers and beliefs only gain steam.
So what? Well if you find yourself in a discussion gone surly concerning the more controversial issues in Passion, I've provided for you a one way ticket on the train to a more casual conversation.