Tuesday, February 24, 2004

No, not the abbreviation found throughout historical and modern day Rome (Senatus PopulusQue Romanus). Rather I mean: Silence, Pensiveness, Quiet, and Restraint.

I think I would prefer to practice some Roman sobriety or restraint rather than offering a further critique of "The Passion". I really meant what I wrote last night upon returning from the movie: Silence is in order. I don't hold this position because I want to guard (if only for a day) some special gnosis I have. Rather, I don't want to clutter anyone's experience of the movie with my own critique; at least not before it opens publicly. I fear writing about the movie may reveal too much before others have a chance to experience it themselves. I will withhold comment until a few days after its public opening.

I will say this, however. The movie is in NO way anti-Semitic; no reasonable person could make such a claim if he has seen the movie. It is artistically beautiful. Again, the subtlety of gesture, eyes, face, hands, speaks volumes. The Marian dimension of the film (because it is part of the life of Jesus) is strong and clear. I don't want to reveal scenes, but I came away believing that the movie showed how Jesus himself, in the midst of terrible, unimaginable agony, received strength and firmness of purpose to continue on with the Father's Will, by looking to his mother. Why would that strengthen his resolve? Because she was the first to say "Fiat," "Amen" to the Father's Will. I had never before thought of how Mary's fiat could have been a unique source of Jesus' own resolve to accept and drink from the chalice given to him. As a mamma's boy and a Catholic (read: Marian devotion) the interaction between Jesus and Mary hit me hard. From the start of the movie through its completion, I honestly cannot recall one audible word being uttered by anyone in the theatre. The obvious reaction of everyone present was stunned silence and tears. Bring a heavy duty handkerchief folks!

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