Caleb Basinger was looking for a lot Wednesday. "I want to be changed," he said. Oscar Castillo wanted authenticity. "I hope its true to the gospel and not all Hollywood," he said.
Two people, like thousands across the country, transforming Tinseltowns into cathedrals. And coming out transformed themselves. "It really hits," said Castillo. The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson's two hour epic about the suffering of one man who changed the world. "Behold the man," shouts Pilate.
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Opening at over 2,000 theaters to a chorus of concerns about Anti-Semitism and violence, after seeing it, most people are just dumb struck. "It's hard to put into words," said Castillo. "I don't know what I can say," said Basinger.
It's tough to say religion aside, but religion aside, the film is as much about the frailty of the human race as it is about a divine being. Anti-Semitic? Yes. But no more than Shcindlers List is anti-German or a film about 9/11 would be anti-Muslim.
There is utter silence in the theatre at the end of the film. Part of it appreciation for what Christ did, part of it shame for the cruelties we inflict on one another, let alone, the Son of God. "Makes you stop and think," said Castillo.
Violence? It'd be nice to say we're so shocked because people just don't behave that way anymore. But they do. It'd be tough to find someone actually crucified. But there's plenty of torture, and disease, and war.
It's been almost 2,000 years since Christ was here. Somehow his message is still having a tough time getting through. "So love one another," said the actor portraying Him. But that's the good thing about humans, there's always faith and hope for tomorrow. "The great news is he didn't stay dead," said Basinger.
Maybe it's just coincidence, maybe a divine wink, that on the marquee, two lines below "The Passion", are the words, "Return of the King."