You know how Shakespeare wasn't big on stage directions? The Bible is like that. It's pretty vague. It's not really all that adaptable for the big screen, but every few years somebody else can't resist the challenge and we get treated to another movie. Each one of them is apparently the best, most accurate, most inspired and inspiring, and will probably change your life.
And all I can think is... CAN WE FOR ONCE GET A GUY TO PLAY JESUS WHO MIGHT LOOK ANYTHING CLOSE TO WHAT JESUS MIGHT HAVE LOOKED LIKE?
I'm pretty sure actual Jesus didn't look like a gorgeous Portuguese tall handsome fellow. Did I mention he's gorgeous?
We don't have any idea what Jesus looked like. There are absolutely no descriptions of him, not his height, anything. It's better that way, I think. Having any clues to his appearance would take away from the message.
Either way though, it's probably safe to say that as he came from the Middle East, he'd probably not have looked like good ol classic Euro Jesus.
I mean, COME ON.
This Jesus looks like Brad Pitt.
So I'm contradicting myself badly, because in one breath I'm saying it's better to not even try to picture him, but then I say if we do he should look like a brown skinned Middle Eastern guy with a big black beard. I'm sure they could find an actor from somewhere around the Holy Land who'd be nice to look at for two hours. Or maybe not be nice to look at. Maybe he'd be right homely. Does it matter? But would that even matter what colour his skin and hair and eyes are? I know Jewish people who are fair haired and green eyed. So maybe I'm full of it anyways. I don't know what I'm saying!
I get the impression that the producers of this movie have the best intentions. They want to bring this important story to the world, to people who might not know it.
BUT. Inevitably somebody is going to snicker. I hate to say it, but that somebody is probably going to be me. Yes, me, raised Christian and prays all the time and doesn't read the book enough, and goes to church and leaves with all kinds of questions. It's looking like I'm going to mock a movie that I don't even intend to see. How hypocritical and unfair of me.
Gimme a break. I saw a clip this morning in which Jesus assures his mother as he's been dragged away to his torturous death. She gasps, "my son" OF COURSE because that's how Movie-Mary talks, and in his Movie Vaguely Fake British Accent, Jesus replies, "Dewn't be afraid... oll things ah pussible... with Gode...."
And I'm rolling my eyes, then thinking, well what the hell else are they going to sound like? We don't know, so we get the default which is the Movie Vaguely Fake British Accent.
In searching up pictures to steal, (sorry Jesus) I came across a few interesting things I couldn't ignore. Such as: the actor is disturbed that he's being called Hot Jesus. Forehead slap. Again, he seems to have had the best intentions here, but did nobody think of it that at some point *** SPOILER ALERT *** they're going to have to strip this guy down to a loincloth. Sure he'll be hanging there to be tortured but I guarantee some numbskull is going to say, "Oooooh he looks so sexy in that crown of thorns." It is already happening, apparently. Poor Hot Jesus is uncomfortable with this and so am I!!!!
The other disturbing plot point is that they producers decided to cut Satan out of the story. For reasons, which I don't even what to get into. They're spinning it that they wanted to focus on Jesus. I have a hard time with this. You cut out Satan, you miss out on a big part of the story. The whole scene where *** SPOILER ALERT *** Satan tempts Jesus in the garden, tries to convince him to just skip this whole sacrificial thing where he'll be *** SPOILER ALERT *** hung up and tortured to death, that whole scene, is so powerful.
But, we get this:
"I hear what you're saying, and I'm going to answer your question... with another question. Because that's what I do."
"Yeah man, you should totally follow me! WE'RE GOING ON TOUR!!!"
"Dudes, we need a theme song. Like, Bad To The Bone, except that I'm not, so let's think up something else, like, something by Rage Against The Machine. I actually am raging against the machine that is the Roman Empire."
Later today I will show this picture to my son and he'll tell me about that time last year in comm-tech class where he made the middle of his left hand disappear in a video so we could read the newspaper through his hand. I predict Bucky The Nerd will explain that all you need is a glob of green putty and it's like a green screen in the palm of your hand.
If you go see it, and you love it, I will not mock you. Hopefully anybody who sees it, gets something positive out of it. And possibly for being so snarky about this, I might go to hell.
But in the meantime, I'm going to cherish this picture, because if this fella showed up with his big grin and great hair, I'd be like, cool, let's go road trip. Tell me some stories, man. Are we doing potluck, cuz I think I can dig up some bread and I guess we can catch some fish. It'll be fun.
(I'm probably a giant grouch, and this movie will be interesting, and why not? If you're looking for epic source material, this would be it. I kind of hope it'll be good. You'll have to tell me.)