THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST
(Hristo Shopov as Pontius Pilate)
ORIGINAL TITLE: The Passion of The Christ.
DIRECTED BY: Mel Gibson.
MAIN CAST: James Caviezel, Maia Morgenstern, Hristo Shopov, Monica Bellucci, Claudia Gerini, Sergio Rubini, Francesco de Vito, Mattia Sbragia, Christo Jivkov, Toni Bertorelli, Luca Lionello and Fabio Sartor.
PRODUCED BY: Bruce Davey, Mel Gibson and Stephen McEveety.
WRITTEN BY: Benedict Fitzgerald and Mel Gibson.
ORIGINAL MUSIC BY: John Debney.
RUNTIME: 127 minutes.
GENRE: History | Drama.
The Passion of The Christ is a deep story of courage and sacrifice which recreates the last twelve hours of the life of Jesus of Nazareth on the date of His crucifixion.
The story begins in the Olive Grover, Gethsemane, where Jesus and his disciples are praying after the Last Meal, fighting Satan’s temptations.
Betrayed by Judas Iscariot, the controversial Jesus –who is said to create miracles and has declared himself to be Son of God- is arrested by Jewish guards, driven to Jerusalem, taken to Anas and the Pharisees and accused of blasphemy.
Without the proper legal procedure, Caiaphas and the rest of the Sanhedrin sentence Jesus to death because of his blasphemous declarations. However, the Jewish council of seniors cannot execute anyone without Roma’s permission, thus the convict is taken before the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate (Hristo Shopov).
Pilate listens to the charges and decides to interrogate Jesus himself because he immediately suspects that there is a political-religious conflict behind this case.
After this first interrogation the governor finds Jesus innocent and, knowing that the prisoner is from Galilee, decides to send him to King Herod. The vicious king returns Jesus to Pilate to be judged again, but Pilate still refuses to give the verdict of crucifixion. Claudia Procles, Pilates’s wife, advises him that he shouldn’t "condemn the Galilean".
The crowd, headed by the Sanhedrin, pressure Pilate to condemn the Nazarene. Quick thinking, Pilate tries to save Jesus by appealing to the Passover celebration’s privilege to release a dangerous criminal, so they might choose between both men.
Pilate, astonished, sees the crowd angrily shouting to free Barabbas and crucify Jesus.
Pontius Pilate’s efforts to release the innocent prisoner have so far been fruitless but, in a desperate last attempt, he orders the whipping of Jesus to show his bleeding body after the punishment to elicit people’s mercy for this strange Messiah and, ultimately, claim for his pardon and release.
Nothing is further from reality. The Pharisees don’t believe the punishment is grave enough, as after the whipping they continue asking for death.
Once Pilates sees he won’t achieve anything on the Galilean’s behalf, in spite of his own three attempts, and despite the conflict between his personal feelings and his duty, pressed by the political circumstances and threatened by the Jewish authorities ("If you release him, you might not be friend of the Caesar") and the crowd gathered in front of the Praetorium (the place where Jesus is finally sentenced as well as Pilate’s residence), Pilate finally echoes people’s demands and sentences Jesus to death, but only after saying these famous words while washing his hands: "I’m innocent of this righteous man's blood; you will see".
Afterwards, Jesus will carry the cross through the streets of Jerusalem, meeting His Mother, Mary Magdalena, Simon of Cyrene and His young disciple John, on His way to the Golgotha Hill, the place where His crucifixion will take be held.
* NOTE: Central in the plot is the cruel torture shown to us, but it has clearly been softened, with some flashbacks that appear from time to time showing Jesus’ childhood and youth, as well as the Last Meal scene.
An impressive photography, an unforgettable soundtrack and an original interpretation, The Passion of The Christ is a very successful film. A worldwide cinema phenomenon that smashed all the records.
The director succesfully manages to condense in two hours the essential facts that had been spread to millions of people over 2000 years. Surroundings, scenery, costume ... everything is made to perfection.
Every actor’s face fits the time perfectly, young actors who are accurately inserted into a historical movie. Throughout the story they have achieved a series of artistic victories: firstly, the film fulfills its tragic aim. From Jim Caviezel as Jesus Christ (whose burliness and impressive bearing showed in the beginning, slowly decreases as the movie progresses), to Maia Morgensten, as The Virgin, giving an excellent performance of portraying mother’s pain and horror.
A very special mention is deserved for the acting of Hristo Shopov, who brings Pontius Pilate to life. It is undoubtedly the best Pilate that has been on the big screen, bringing a spectacular display of acting out varying shades of emotion: from questioning to doubting, through hesitation, admiration and respect, impotence and even fear. This role won him the Golden Knight Award in the 2004 Irkutsk Film Festival (Siberia), and it would be fair to reward his work with an Oscar, once his name is proposed by trusted film critics.
There are two versions of this film: a 122 minutes long version shown in cinemas and a 127 minutes extended version available only in DVD, The Passion of The Christ. Definitive Edition. The viewing of disc 2 of this "Definitive Edition" is recommended because it contains many hours of extra and exclusive features: "Behind the scenes", "Deep into the historical basis of History"; deleted scenes, director and actors commentaries, biopics, gallery, and more. Among these features one will find , "Pilate".
- Official Movie Website (1): www.thepassionrecut.com
- Official Movie Website (2): AURUM - La Pasión de Cristo
THE PASSION - Hristo Shopov as Pontius Pilate