(This review may contain spoilers).
When I originally saw this movie advertised, I was very interested in watching it, as someone who’s been a Christian for a long time. I was immediately intrigued by a movie portraying Jesus’ life that focused primarily on one of his apostles who was a woman.
Having said that, I found this movie difficult to engage with at first. I feel part of that was due to the lack of ethnic realism.
I also found it hard with so many characters shown all at once without much depth. For instance, I had no idea how many siblings Mary had. And out of all the other apostles following Jesus, only Peter and Judas Iscariot had any real development. While I can undetstand a movie not having the time to spend developing every person portrayed, this was a group of people spending weeks travelling together. I was disappointed that more time wasn’t spent showing the friendships and, yes, conflicts between this group of people.
I did really like the focus put on women in this movie, but I felt there were other scenes in the Bible portraying women that I would have liked to see expanded upon. For instance, Jesus’ closeness with Lazarus’ sister; and the Samaritan woman at the well he asked for a drink of water from.
While it was good to see the male apostles questioning and doubting, I almost felt that Mary came across as quite one-dimensional. She seemed kind of on a pedestal; someone who had no questions or doubts that would have shown her as a real person with faith increasing as she grew and learned.
I wasn’t quite as absorbed in this movie as I could have been, but I felt that the reasoning behind the focus on Mary was good and, ultimately, I’m glad I decided to give it a chance, even though I don’t think I’ll be watching it again any time soon.