Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Movie Review: "Constantine", Part II.

Here's some "inside baseball". Probably the most searched post on this site is my "Constantine" movie review (here) (although there's been considerable interest also in the Anaheim v. Angels series: here, here, here, and here).

So, to boost traffic, perhaps I should do more movie reviews or simply extend the "Constantine" review. Both, I surmise.

Accordingly, I submit germane portions of a recent interview with the movie's star, Keanu Reeves. He delivered somewhat of a head-scratcher. He coined another oxymoron: "secular religiosity".

Referring to the film's theology, "I think of it as a kind of secular religiosity," Reeves said. "The piece itself is using icons and a platform in a kind of catholic heaven-and-hell, god-and-the-devil, human souls, fighting for those. I was hoping that these concepts could become a platform that are humanistic, that the journey of this particular hero is hopefully relatable to -- even though they're such fantastic characters and situations -- that it's still a man trying to figure it out. I think that those kinds of journeys, a hero journey, or Siddartha, these are all kind of seeking aspects that hopefully have something of value to our lives, that we can take with us and hopefully in the works that are entertaining and these kinds of journeys that I think all of us, especially in western traditions, relate to. I think these motifs of seekers, messiahs, of anti-heroes, heroes, all of these aspects are journeys that I think deal with things that we deal with in our day-to-day in a way, and are entertaining."

Director Francis Lawrence acknowledged the film's religious voice more than Reeves, but still argued an appeal to the nonreligious. "There is a lot of Catholic theology in it, but it also sort of appeals to people who aren't Catholic or Christian. Just because there is this idea of the balance and if it's actually angels or demons or is just negative energy or positive energy or just being influenced one side or the other. Just the polarity of the way the world works. I think people have always responded to that."

(Hat tip: MovieWeb.)