Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Misdirected Passion

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Misdirected Passion

Article excerpt

IN AMERICA, Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ has enjoyed huge box office success, despite predictions to the contrary. If it makes a similar impact as it opens in Britain, however, nobody should pretend that a religious revival is taking place here, or that cinema-goers have a renewed appetite for weighty themes, or indeed an interest in Aramaic. The film has become the box office success that it is in the US thanks to the oldest trick in the showbiz book: blood and gore. Under cover of making a serious work of art, Gibson has included long scenes of torture that have disgusted even the most hardened critics. From the gladiators of ancient Rome to the bloodiest Elizabethan playwrights to many of Hollywood's offerings, entertainment impresarios have always exploited people's fascination with violence and visible suffering. Mel Gibson, whatever his motives, is in practice merely another of them. The cynicism of his approach is demonstrated by the fact that nails are being sold as part of the merchandising of the film. …

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