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The Passion of the Christ


Netflix - 120 mins - TheTVDB, IMDB

In the late hours of the night at the forested garden of Gethsemane, Jesus Christ (Caviezel), at the height of his cause, prays while his disciples Peter, James, and John (James's brother) are asleep. After he wakes them and tells them to pray, Jesus walks to a secluded portion of the forest wherein during his prayer, Satan appears in a hooded ghost-like androgynous, albino form, and tempts him with reasonable doubt, stating, "It is not right for one man to die for their (humanity's) sins." Ignoring it and praying on, Jesus' sweat turns into blood and drips to the ground while a serpent emerges from Satan's guise. Jesus hears his disciples call out for him, and he rebukes Satan by crushing the snake's head with his heel, and Satan vanishes. Meanwhile, Judas Iscariot, another of Jesus' disciples, having received a bribe of thirty pieces of silver, leads a group of temple guards to the forest and betrays Jesus (by confirmation of his identity) with a simple kiss on the cheek. As the armed guards move in to arrest Jesus, a fight erupts wherein Peter draws his dagger and gravely injures Malchus, one of the guards and a servant of the high priest Caiaphas, by slashing his ear. Jesus, in turn, heals Malchus' injury while simultaneously reprimanding Peter for his actions. As the disciples flee, the guards secure Jesus, and beat him during the journey to the Sanhedrin. John informs Mary, mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene of the arrest, while Peter follows Jesus and his captors at a distance. Mary begs a passing Roman patrol to intervene but a temple guard assures them that she is unbalanced. Caiaphas holds trial over the objection of some of the other priests, who are expelled from the court. False accusations and witnesses are brought against him. When questioned by Caiaphas if he is the Son of God, Jesus replies, "I AM". A horrified Caiaphas tears his robes in outrage and Jesus is condemned to death for blasphemy. Peter, secretly watching, is confronted by the surrounding mob for being a follower of Jesus, and he angrily denies this. But after cursing at the mob during the third denial, a sobbing Peter flees after remembering that Jesus had foretold Peter that he would deny him thrice before the cock will crew thrice (the cock crow is not shown in the movie). At the same time, a guilt-ridden Judas attempts to return the money he was paid to have Jesus freed, but is refused by the priests. Tormented by demons, he flees the city and finds solitude, eventually hanging himself from a tree with a halter rope he finds on a decaying donkey corpse by morning. Caiaphas brings Jesus before Pontius Pilate to be condemned to death, but at the urging of Pilate's wife Claudia, who knows of Jesus' status as a man of God, and after questioning Jesus and finding no fault, a sympathetic Pilate transfers him to the court of Herod Antipas, as Jesus is from Antipas' ruling town of Nazareth, Galilee. After Jesus is again found not guilty and returned, Pilate offers the crowd options either for him to chastise Jesus, or to release him. He then attempts to have Jesus freed by the peoples' choice between Jesus and a violent criminal Barabbas. To his anger, the crowd demands to have Barabbas freed and Jesus crucified. In an attempt to appease the crowd, Pilate orders that he simply be flogged but not crucified. Jesus is brutally scourged, abused, and mocked by the Roman guards until Abenader, their officer, angrily stops them. They take him to a barn where they place a crown of thorns on his head and falling on their knees, they tease him saying “Hail, king of the Jews”. One of them hits Jesus’ head with a stick. A bruised Jesus is presented before Pilate, but Caiaphas, with the crowds' verbal backing, continues to demand that Jesus be crucified as an impostor and Barabbas released. Admonished, Pilate washes his hands, takes no responsibility for the incident, and reluctantly orders Jesus' crucifixion. During the course of events, Satan observes Jesus' painful sufferings with great interest. As Jesus labors to carry a heavy wooden cross along the Via Dolorosa to Calvary, a woman avoids the escort of soldiers and then she requests Jesus to wipe his face with her cloth, to which he consents. After that, she offers Jesus a pot of water to drink but the guard hurls it away and dispels her. During the journey to Golgotha, Jesus is beaten and pressed by the guards until the unwilling Simon of Cyrene is forced into carrying the cross with him. At the end of their journey, with his mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, and others witnessing, Jesus is crucified. The very act seems to affect the weather conditions of the earth itself. Hanging from the cross, Jesus prays to God asking forgiveness for the people who tormented him, and provides salvation to a criminal, who is crucified beside him, for his strong faith and repentance. Succumbing to impending death, Jesus surrenders his spirit to the Father and dies. A single droplet of rain falls from the sky to the ground, triggering a sudden earthquake which destroys the temple and rips the veil covering the Holy of Holies in two, to the horror of Caiaphas and the other priests. Satan is shown screaming in agonized defeat from the depths of Hell. Jesus' lifeless body is taken down from the cross, and entombed. In the end, the healed body of Jesus rises from the dead and exits the tomb resurrected, with wounded holes visible on his palms.
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