The Nativity Story
What fascinates more about the bible is how much we overlook the grittiness of the stories. The story of Jesus Christ is remarkable, yet how much do we know about the man besides the divine things he’s accomplished. More then a man who can make wine out of water, Christ was a simple man of the people who believed in the greater good of people. The holidays are about the belief in good, so even if your not a Christian, then you have to at least see what Christ saw is his brothers to understand our love in people. There is good in everyone, even if we don’t have belief in them.
As a young adult, I have asked myself a lot of questions about my faith. I know it’s common to explore what I have been given, but what’s wrong with examining the greater picture. I want to know more about the greater details of the bible tales. How did these people look to god in a situation where life was hard? I have heard the story of the birth of Christ through out many trips to the church, but know comes a movie version called The Nativity Story. This movie takes an interesting direction of having some spiritual aspects, but attempts to stay as realistic and gritty as possible.
The Roman Empire has total control in the ancient world, even to the extent of the smallest villages thousands of miles away. Young teenage Mary (played by Keisha Castle-Hughes) lives a life as ordinary as any teenager in the cast could; working in a couple of farms, helping her family make payment on the Emperor’s taxes. She has been arraigned to marry to Joseph (played by Oscar Isaac) as it is for her family’s traditions. Here life changes when an angel visits here and is told she will bear the Son of God.
Mary is accused of fornication by her village, up to the point where even Joseph is having trouble believing her. He sees God’s vision when he is visited in his dreams by the same angel. He knows that he must help raise the child. When the Emperor calls for a census, Joseph decides that he must take Mary to Bethlehem, to share the same place of birth with his son. Meanwhile, three wise men, Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar are studying the stars to find the King of the Jews and make the same journey.
I was expecting another overly religious film, but I was surprised. I found myself very intrigued by the approach that The Nativity Story has taken. The film actually shows a brutal era, where the simplest of men have too much power. What I got was a story of survival about two young people following their beliefs for what they thought was best. What I liked was that these people actually seemed real. Mary and Joseph make mistakes, but they continue their trek no matter what, it may seem confusing, but young people do make mistakes. That’s what gave them the direction to Bethlehem.
I like that there was a ten-year age gap between Mary and Joseph. That too added to the harsh reality of the past; the arraigned marriage. I even liked the three wise men. They were even a little goofy, but nothing that would take away the dignity of their intellect.
The only downside is that this movie is very tame. While I would have wanted the story to go further with the hard walk of Joseph and Mary, at least the film is appropriate enough to show children.
I’ll give this four bright stars out of five. If you’re doing a Christmas marathon, you definitely need to include the story of Christ. It’s his birthday anyway!