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Mary Magdalene: Movie Review

Mary Magdalene: Movie Review

Starring: Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Tahar Rahim, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ariane Labed, Ryan Corr (Rated M – 120 min).

Director Garth Davis, hot off global critical praise of Academy Award nominated Lion, follows with another ‘true story’ of the biblical sense, told his way focusing on Mary’s side of things while offsetting a contemporary friendly, truly sweeping cinematic vision.

The idea is a feminist angle focusing on Mary and what actually happened. The notion of her being a prostitute is made clear here, that she was not at all. She was simply a woman who found faith in her prophet saviour following him to eternity.

The nuanced centric female narrative is driven by brave Rooney Mara (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Done with poise, grappling with female determination, she zooms in on your emotions as a woman, as a person, as a disciple who always seems to see his actions before anyone else catches on. She shocks many making the big decision to follow this path by leaving family behind.

Known for his method approach to characters, unique Joaquin Phoenix (Clay Pigeons, Inherent Vice) as Jesus of Nazareth, solid as one would expect, magnetic to say the least. It is basically his story with Mary looking on and telling her perspective in between.

Faith-based films are very successful delivering messages and have been released in abundance of late, of variable quality, however impressive popularity. An exciting, refracting, exceptional talent, dual Oscar nominee Mara gives an undercurrent of brilliance as Mary. Versatile Greek actress Ariane Labed, absorbs attention as Rachel.

Overall limited to many, coming across as more of religious themed arthouse linear trying hard to cross over to all audience demographics actually worked for me. Although walking on water is more likely than watching it ever again.

Shane A. Bassett

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