Mary Magdalene (2019)

I got to be honest with anyone who reads this, my Biblical knowledge is nowhere near the average person, so I am very confused about Mary Magdalene. I thought she was always looked upon in a negative way, yet this film presents nothing of the sort. I didn’t even do any research on her for this review because I don’t want to ruin anything I saw.

From what I’ve grown up to understand and from watching the Da Vinci Code, Mary was very close to Jesus, maybe even in a relationship him. This movie doesn’t really touch upon that, though you get the sense there is a connection between the two. Mary breaks from her family and decides to follow Jesus (played by her real-life boyfriend Joaquin Phoenix). The message to me was Mary wanted to be her own women and make her own decisions in an era when that was forbidden. The other apostles welcome her and resent her at the same time, the whole movie is filled with mixed messages about Mary’s place in the group. Then when she is the only one to see Jesus after his resurrection, no one believes her. For a woman who felt a calling to help those in need, it was a shame she was looked at so harshly.

The biggest thing I realize about this movie is how much I like Rooney Mara’s acting. She was brilliant in this role, given the subject matter. I’ve seen her in many roles but her performance here really won me over. Since I wasn’t a huge fan of the film, my mind drifted away and I wondered how many films of hers I have seen and that I should put more effort to see whatever I’m missing. She is really an underrated actress of this generation.

Although this film may be about Mary, the film does cover the crucifixion of Jesus. This sequence reminded me that particular moment in history will always be the focal point of any historical religious film, no matter what the subject matter is really about. 4/10

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