Wednesday, January 17, 2024

The Book Of Clarence

It's an interesting experience to watch this movie.

Now speaking as a non-religious individual who was raised in a christian centric background, I'm not the one to determine if this is a good religious film. But I can tell you if I thought this was a good film or not. Split into three acts or Books in this instance the story follows an atheistic everyman at the height of Jesus' influence who seeks to make something of himself, and tries to pay off some debts being a charlatan messiah. That's pure bare bones and a fair bit happens, but I like the more imaginative and revisionist (Perhaps?) history stance the film takes. Now will I admit that the movie has a tremendous tone problem? Yeah. The humor barely hits and it mainly focuses on being a drama, so when those moments occur it doesn't work great. But when the drama and the big moments hit, I mean it's harrowing at times and hits you like a damn frieght train! I really couldn't say enough good things honestly about this cast, and finally we see a black Jesus. Sorry to break it to you humans, but an israeli born man in the city of David that resides in Jerusalem is not going to be wonderbread white. LaKeith Stanfield is a rock solid lead as wannabe apostle Clarence, and I find it kinda brilliant to make him an atheist at that period of history in 33 A.D. and the character journey that unfolds does not feel slapdash, stupid, or insulting. Great stuff! RJ Cyler, my friggin' man from the recent Power Rangers movie how great it is to see him in another film as Clarence's partner in crime Elijah, he gets his moments of humor and emotion and sells it being a stalwart friend to the end. And I will not lie to you for even a second, I didn't think we were going to see Jesus in this movie or at least his face anyway but when that moment comes and it is a powerful ass moment, and I looked in the face of Nicholas Pinnock the only words I could form were, "Holy fuck that is Jesus of Nazareth.". I'm so not even kidding, I bought every second of it, he did such a great job and you barely even see him in the movie! That's talent. Anna Diop as Clarence's sweetheart Varinia though more of a side character gives humanity and groundness to his character, seeing past his scoundrel qualities and admiring the man underneath. Personally I think he has terrific taste, the woman has a good head on her shoulders, is charming and caring, and shockingly gorgeous without a doubt. I actually will admit though my absolute favorite characters are Joseph and Mary, they're in the movie for one scene but I absolutely adored them and they made me have a good laugh, so Alfre Woodard and Brian Bovell have my absolute love. The film looks pretty dang good too, I mean I don't think they genuinely filmed in Jerusalem but it coulda fooled me, the costumes are great, the effects for the more miraculous stuff do the job, and the makeup is a little too good at points. But the interesting part is how my perception changed as the movie went on. Book I, I think the movie is completely middle of the road average aside from the production values. Book II, I'm kinda getting into it and near the end I feel the movie is decent. Book III, alright it's a good film. I don't think I've ever had that kind of movie watching experience in my life! So if you think you're not feeling the movie before the halfway point just stick with it. It was fascinating watching the number rise as the movie kept playing but what did it end on? I think a solid 3 stars, 7.5/10! So not a bad stint at the movies but oh we got one more, a movie I saw in my downtime that was too good not to talk about. What could it be? You'll have to see.

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