A Good Idea
I have lost my faith. At times I even call myself an atheist. I do not believe in god and have not since just recently. My mother was a kind, strong willed, caring individual. She also had cancer. My mother became a symbol of fighting this disease because she fought off six reoccurrences in eight years. God decided she should die. If there was a God then why would he let someone who was an inspiration to so many, leave us? I just do not understand.
This movie however was able to reach that little part of me that still wonders if there is a being out there that watches us all. Writer/director Kevin Smith accomplishes this by doing away with all the religious jargon and approaches it in a whole new way in his latest comedy Dogma. This work of comedic genius follows Bethany, a Planned Parenthood employee who has lost all faith in god, on her holy crusade to save the world from being blinked out of existence in of all places, New Jersey. Smith takes a new approach to an old subject with Dogma. His ability to transform ideas into scripts and plotlines makes him one of the most brilliant and artistic writer/directors of his generation.
Smith takes the religion of Christianity and explains it in ways that seem to bring it to life. Jesus is no longer just a character in a bible story; he appears to us as man who suddenly carries the weight of the world on his back. The holy icon is given friends, personality, and even a sense of humor. Smith is able to accomplish all of this without actually presenting Jesus as a character. The main idea of this movie is presented in a scene that unfolds in a strip joint of all places. Serendipity, a muse, explains to Bethany the explicit argument of the movie:
I have issues with anyone that treats God like a burden instead of a blessing like some Catholics. You people dont celebrate your faith, your morn it. It's not about who's right or wrong. No denomination's nailed it yet, because they're all too self-righteous to realize that it doesn't matter what you faith in, just that you have faith. Your hearts are in the right place, but your brains gotta wake up.
This statement encompasses everything Smith wanted to say. I happen to agree with him.
Smith has written three other movies, all aimed at teens and the graduates of Generation X. This movie however, he aimed at anyone who ever had a second thought about religion. He clearly states that this movie is not just about the catholic religion, but all religions. During the release of this movie there were several protests, hate letters, and threats sent to Disney, Miramax, and even Smith himself. All of these came from religious fanatics scorning Smith and the companies for being heretics and poking fun at the catholic religion, however most of these were received before the movie was even released. What these people did not understand is that Smith was not insulting the religion, he was inspired by it. Many of the jokes and situations came right from the bible itself. People assumed when they saw pre-scripts that this movie made a mockery of Catholics and tarnished Gods name just to make a buck.
After the movie was released the first group of people to walk through the ticket booths were these same nay Sayers. My question is if they scorned Smith so much, why would they help fill his wallet? People need to learn that if they do not like something that does not mean the whole world follows their idea. If they do not like a movie or book, dont see it. Trying to ban something just because of content is not only in violation of the Bill of Rights but its also morally wrong. If we did ban works because of content the first to go would be the Bible. That book has more discrimination, violence, and distasteful material then any R rated movie out today.
I believe that Smith wrote a movie that will stand out for generations to come. His ideas and values are so explicit that the only people who missed it ironically enough, were those whose faith it was written about. I still wonder if there is a God. No longer do I believe, but I feel I still have faith.
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