Mel Gibson and Melodrama
Having previously seen only 20 minutes of the Gibson film and become bored with it, I finally, saw the entire, 2-DVD,Gibson film about the Christ. It is remarkably like Latin American telenovelas in its use of melodrama and exagerrated character types. I think the deft application of melodrama techniques is what gives this film the dramatic strength when it cannot rely on development of plot, character depth nor incisive dialog. I’ve heard the Colombian author,Germï¿½n Rey, talk about the international success of the Latin America telenovela format, mythologizing as it does, the large themes of good and evil. The telenovela manages to subsume the quotidian struggles of a societal group and narrate them in a cohesive story of identity.
Of interest to media-makers: In regards to innovative, ever new and intersting ways of depicting blood and violence, this film is a prolonged version, almost identical in makeup and lighting, to the torture scenes in “Payback” in which Mel Gibson is beaten bloody, including having his toes bludgeoned with a hammer.
The only reason I saw the whole bloody thing is that it’s so popular, so many people find it deeply touching, and I wanted to see what all the fuss is about. I would not see it again.