Martin Scorsese presents to us the film adaptation of the controversial novel by Nikon Kazantzakis, turned out to be a brilliant interpretation and thought provoking.
Jesus of Nazaret is free from all sin but still faces all the temptations faced by man. He resists every one of them. Upon the cross Jesus faces the final temptation.
The movie is narrated from the point of view of Jesus. First half depicts His life as we know it. The movie diverges once Jesus is crucified. Though it led to controversies, from here the film (and the book) presents an interesting and though provoking scenario, the last temptation, the normal life of a man. The film completes with Him rising above man by conquering the Last Temptation.
Very Personal Opinion:
The last temptation actually made sense to me. It is something which I could relate more to than conquering all the other vices. Every man desires to lead a normal peaceful life with family and children. God is in a farther realm above man. Conquering this temptation He rose above man. The controversies surrounding the film are due to some sequences which show Jesus making love and having a family and children. People were offended by this depiction of the perfect Christ. Well no one is born perfect, and Christ being the human representation of God, also had to attain perfection. Also all this happens in an alternate reality, a dream, a vision.
More than the concept of the Last Temptation the thing that really touched me was the depiction of unique friendship between Jesus and Judas. This interpretation was totally new to me, as I was always exposed to the version casting Judas as the follower who betrayed Jesus for some silver coins. This friendship was really unique and it really moved me. It was the high point for me.
William Dafoe was splendid as Jesus. The Transition from the confused and cowardly carpenter in the beginning to the Messiah he finally rose to be seemed very natural for Willian Dafoe. And to watch Harvey Kietel as Judas, a totally new avatar was really fresh. A strong friend to Jesus, a brave man.
The movie is worshipped by an enchanting soundtrack by Peter Gabriel. Scorsese brave attempt to portray Jesus in flesh and blood and the realistic visual depiction of Israel together was so involving. There are so many subtle portions which speak about Love and sacrifice. There is a totally independent spiritual dimension or rather plot hidden in the film. (The two paths presented before Jesus; Love or the Axe.)
Very well crafted thought provoking film. But I have warned you, the movie contains sequences that could hurt religious sentiments but with deeper spiritual lessons. The film might preach a totally different chapter for you.