Mick LaSalle is not a believer
Dear Mick LaSalle: Your review (of ‘The Passion,’ Feb. 25) startled me in its negativity. My guess is that as a ‘believer’ I saw God in the person of Christ. I was stunned, and you were not.
Ed Gleason, San Francisco
Dear Ed Gleason: Whether you like the movie or not, it might be useful for all of us to remember one thing: The movie is not from God. It’s from Mel Gibson. (There’s a difference, really.) And what you saw onscreen was not Jesus incarnate but James Caviezel under about 10 pounds of ketchup. The point is, the movie is an artwork, subject to critical assessment, not a profound moral document that renders critical scrutiny irrelevant or off limits. It may be based on a profound moral document that renders critical scrutiny irrelevant or off limits, but that’s not the same thing. There are plenty of people who are just as religious as you are who think Gibson’s movie is a piece of garbage. I don’t. I actually think it’s better than that, but this notion that you’re walking in light if you love the movie and you’re some kind of secular neo-centurion if you hate the movie is a joke. One could just as well argue the other way and say that when Caviezel was struck by lightning during the making of ‘The Passion,’ that constituted the review from on high.
link to SF Chron column