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Mary Magdalene!

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Starring Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix

You’ve seen Jesus on the big screen before, but you haven’t seen his story told from the point of view of Mary Magdalene. It’s hard to gauge how well a movie based around religion will do with today’s theatre goers, but if you open yourself up to it, ‘Mary Magdalene’ is rewarding on many levels.” As a Godly spectacle, the film is too introverted to be overwhelming. For centuries, Mary Magdalene was vilified as a prostitute and excluded from official retellings of the Christ story, even though she’s mentioned in the four gospels more than most of the apostles. Told from Mary’s perspective, this new film seeks to right this wrong and reinstall her as a fundamental witness to Jesus’s teachings, who also interprets them differently from the likes of both Peter (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Judas Iscariot (Tahar Rahim). Even though this film revisits sacred texts to emphasise Jesus’ feminist credentials, Australian Director Garth Davis’ film is unlikely to give offence, it’s far too spirituallyminded to aggravate the faithful. Rooney Mara is the palest fisherwoman the Middle East is ever likely to see is never the less very good playing the woman who never desired to marry which put her at odds with her loving but uncomprehending family. Then Jesus turns up and she answers his call; yet Mary only washes his feet as the writer of this film portray Mary as no sinner; she is simply misunderstood, a woman ahead of her time. Occasionally, the film flashes hot with stormy potential: moments when Mary veers towards madness, and Jesus spins between foresight and torment. The more real the film feels, the more Jesus and his followers look like a holy cult, the stronger it becomes. The miracles; the arrival in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday; the challenge to the money-lenders at the Temple, These are dramatically well-staged sequences necessary to the story. The real ending, however is said that Mary Magdalene spent the rest of her life in a cave while the Catholic Church set about demonising her with considerable zeal throughout the millennia; thus any attempt to rehabilitate her should be acknowledged as a good thing, even if the film itself is problematic. This movie offers a very bold vision of the gospel in many ways.

Rated M 7 out of 10