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Thoughts On Son Of God Movie

March 10, 2014 Frontpage, Uncategorized No Comments

 By PEGGY MOEN    

     I saw the Son of God movie on March 9, after its opening weekend with a second-place box office rank.       Its strongest point is its portrayal of the intrigue and politics leading up to the Passion. The cowardice of Caiaphas in the face of Pilate’s threats and brutality, and then Pilate’s fear of Caesar, are well scripted and well acted. Judas delivers the immortal line “What’s in it for me?” when Caiaphas approaches him to betray Jesus.       Also strong is the movie’s beginning and ending with a monologue by St. John the Evangelist, setting forth salvation history through the Word at the beginning, and the martyrdom of all the apostles except John at the ending.       Some critics faulted the movie for being somewhat episodic in its presentation of the events of Christ’s public ministry. I didn’t find that bothersome, however.       John Mulderig, film reviewer for Catholic News Service, called Son of God an “epochal event” and had this to say about its treatment of the institution of the Eucharist:       “And, though the portrayal of the Last Supper seems somewhat noncommittal as to the meaning of the Eucharist, a rough-and-ready celebration of the sacrament is shown to be the chosen moment for the Lord’s first post-Resurrection appearance to the Twelve.”       Mulderig also said that Catholics “will also appreciate the unqualified acknowledgment of St. Peter…as the leader of the apostles.”       I thought Petrine primacy came through in the portrayal of Peter after the Resurrection, when Mary Magdalen approached him with the news and Peter became the first of the apostles to enter the tomb. This was after Peter had exhibited both conceit and cowardice in his reaction of the arrest of Jesus.       Son of God didn’t show an angel at the tomb, which I missed, and I also would have liked something more about the early years of Jesus, such as the Finding in the Temple. The film moves from the Nativity to the public ministry, with clips of the Child Jesus and His Mother running alongside the film credits at the end.       Actor Diogo Morgado portrays the love and the suffering of the Lord in a way that Pope Francis would admire.       Overall, Son of God, beyond its script, acting, and stunning scenes, has that indefinable something extra that will move and uplift viewers.       A final note is that the scenes of the Passion are graphic and brutal, making the movie unsuitable for underage viewers.

 

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