Well, yesterday afternoon I went ahead and saw The Passion for the second time. While I am falling woefully behind the number of times my friends have viewed the film, I think that I still gained a great deal more from the film and was struck again in similar and new ways, ways that I hadn’t percieved before. I think that the first time I saw the film I was struck by the grisly horror of Christ’s torture and spent more time in awed apprehension than paying more serious attention. But that will happen with films that are meaningful to you, there will always be new nuggets to unearth every time you see it. The second time around I found myself noticing more details with certain characters: Judas, constantly rubbing his lips on the pillar, on his sleeve, on the bag of silver he recieved, trying to wipe off the lingering guilt of the kiss he gave to Jesus. Mary: quietly following her son’s torture, her faith in Him is real, though she herself still doesn’t comprehend what he is doing until the finality of the cross is set in place at Golgotha… she wonders when he will choose to be delivered from this torment, grips the dirt, and lets go when she realizes that he won’t. Jesus: just how sincere Jim Caviezel is… and firm… and reassuring. “The helper will come, and he comes from the Father” Pilate: he’s annoyed, and intrigued, at this “rabble” and their insistence on crucifying a man who for all intents and purposes seems to have done nothing wrong. He washes his hands of the matter… but it stays with him, we only have a glimpse of him again in the film, just after the completion of the crucifixion. Where is he? Pilate is seated in his quarters where we saw him earlier in the film, contemplating ‘veritas’ (truth). He’s not poring over documents, or watching soldiers practice, or busily dictating a letter to Caesar detailing his dealing with the rabble… he’s sitting, contemplating his decision, Jesus affected him, protected him. Jesus protects Simon of Cyrene too, the man who helps carry the cross. He puts his arm over Simon’s, and Jesus’ arm is the one that is whipped by the Roman guards. The Jewish soldiers in the beginning of the film: the one who is the leader of the pack is the one whose ear is severed by Peter. The Roman guard who is called “idiota!” in one of the the early scenes of the film: he is kicked around and yelled at by his peers and generally treated like a dumb guy for most of the film, but he seems to be the only one who senses the truth about the Christ. He stares at Mary, weeping for her son on the way to the cross, asking “Who is that woman?”, the others know, but do not care. He seems like a fool to ask it, but he cares. He tries unsuccessfully to get his comrades to stop the mayhem partway through the march up to Golgotha, Simon is the one who finally runs into the fray screaming “stop!”. He steps out of the way to let Mary, Magdeline, and John get up close to Jesus on the cross. He is the one who holds the spear with the sponge on it up to Jesus’ mouth, and the one who stabs him in the side to make sure that he’s dead. These were the bulk of my observations during my second screening of The Passion of the Christ. That and Jeremy told me that the drop falling through the camera over the crucifixion was the tear of God.
The Passion will necessitate further viewings definitely, but for now, I will cease with the ramblings and resume my normal life of sitting at my computer, listening to music, and trying to redesign my website.