Friday, 21 March 2008

Forgive them for they haven't got a clue

I haven't been watching the BBC's Passion because I read a review saying that it was a more 'realistic' interpretation of the last days of Jesus. That put me off. I suspect the watering down of the story was meant to appeal to sceptics like me. But it didn't.

I actually caught part of it last night. The disciples looked worryingly like a Bee Gees tribute band. And Penelope Wilton as Mary had another chance to do the shouty thing she thinks is a Bafta-winning show of grief, when it is actually a bit rubbish. Terry Jones in drag would have had more gravitas.

I saw Pilate/James Nesbitt asking the crowd who to crucify and I saw Judas hang himself down a well and I saw Jesus crucified. But it was all empty somehow. He looked like a victim of political expediency. He came across as a sad and even deluded figure. The sky didn't darken when he called out in pain. We didn't get the lance in the side for some reason. We got the thieves, but none of the conversation that gives their presence any meaning. The poetry of 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do' was reduced to the crass 'Forgive them for they don't know what they've done.' Urrgh. Why would you want a Jack Vetriano crucifixion when you could have a Giotto or a Rembrandt?

Question the truth of the gospels by all means, but do that somewhere else. Even if you see the story as myth, there still seems no reason to reduce the potency of that myth. Jason and the Argonauts without the magic is just a boat trip after all.

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