Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Godspell (1973)

Cinema Sweetheart's Rating: 8 out of 10
Director: David Greene
Starring: Victor Garber, Lynne Thigpen, and Katie Hanley
Rated: G
Genre: Musical, Religious
Run Time: 103 minutes

Godspell is a modern interpretation of the life of Jesus Christ based off the Gospel according to Matthew.  A group of New Yorkers are approached by John the Baptist (David Haskell) who encourages them to come and follow the words of Jesus.  Soon, the group of eclectic misfits, dressed like hippies in bright colors with painted faces begin to retell the Gospel of Matthew through stories, songs, and performances that they put on for Jesus and for each other.  A fun, feel-good movie, with unforgettable songs such as "Day By Day" and "Turn Back, O Man".

In all honesty, I found this movie to be a bit strange.  I'm a Catholic, and so I was a bit perturbed about some of the representations of Jesus (like why is he wearing pompoms on his shoes, face paint, and a superman shirt with suspenders?  He looks like a clown).  But, I think the reason that it was done this way was to show through the hippie movement that Jesus was counter cultural.  He was not like everyone else; he went against the grain.  Also, I felt that the film portrays Jesus as gentle, caring, and fun.  He seems like someone you'd want to hang out with and who would be happy to just spend time with you and be silly. This Jesus is not too serious, which I kind of liked.

All in all, I thought this was an incredible movie with great music and a great cast.  Sometimes, however, I will say that I thought it was a bit over-the-top in how silly they made it, but still, I would happily recommend it. 

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