Mark Burnett and Roma Downey – the husband and wife team who brought us the mini-series “The Bible” that aired on the History Channel in March 2013 – released “Son of God”, a movie that covers the life of Jesus Christ, just in time for the beginning of the Christian season of Lent.
Though the story of Jesus’s ministry has been told several times, I appreciated the fresh spark that this movie tried to bring to the 2,000-year-old Bible.
Opening credits show John the Apostle sitting alone in the desert contemplating Jesus’s works. Then, the movie proceeds to depict Jesus’s entire life – from his birth in the manger to his resurrection into heaven.
This is the first time a movie has focused on the whole story since 1965’s “The Greatest Story Ever Told.”
“Son of God” was a dramatic interpretation of an already moving story.
The special effects were impressive, bringing Jesus’s miracles to a whole new scale.
I appreciated how vulnerable and human Jesus appeared.
When the death of John the Baptist was mentioned, the sorrow Jesus displayed showed that, while he was fully God, he also was fully human and had human emotions.
I greatly appreciated how the Crucifixion was not nearly as gruesome as in other accounts of the story, such as Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.”
The horrific events, such as the scourging at the pillar and the nailing to the cross were still hard to bear, but did not have the gore factor Gibson sought.
Nevertheless, the violence was hard to watch at points and my eyes were not the only ones in the theater with tears in them.
What the movie contains in dramatics, it lacks in historical accuracy.
As someone who knows the Bible well, it is obvious when the movie grazes over important events or inaccurately represents others.
There were times that, for the sake of emotional impact, Jesus said things that are not written in the Bible.
This may be fine for some people who appreciate the movie for the theatrical experience it is, but I feel that if you are going to display the story of one of the more sacred texts, at least you could have gotten the wording right.
Another strange element of the movie was the casting. For a movie set in the Middle East, there were an awful lot of white people.
It seems our Western mindsets today are convinced that Jesus and the other characters of the Bible were Caucasian.
While there were some Middle Eastern looking disciples, Mary, Joseph and Jesus all had lighter skin.
Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado portrayed a Jesus who was far more attractive than the real Jesus could have ever been. He is the Son of God, but many Christians think it would be a personal insult to God if they made Jesus anything other than angelically handsome.
I have to give a nod to the soundtrack in the film, which was spectacular.
Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer, composer, delivered haunting and beautiful melodies that added more depth to the already wonderful film.
“Son of God”, directed by Christopher Spencer, is rated PG-13 for intense and bloody depictions of the Crucifixion and for some sequences of violence and is playing at Cinemark Town Centre in Conway.