And, those reviews are entirely accurate. The film is of course an unrelenting graphic portrayal of the Passion, and it hit me just about the way I thought it would. Afterwards, I was numb and drained, emotionally and almost physically. But, also spiritually inspiring; I wished I had watched it on Ash Wednesday, to steel myself to Lenten sacrifice.
Almost as powerful was a short passage I had read a few days ago, from a reflection on the second sorrowful Mystery of the Holy Rosary by Saint Josemaria Escriva:
"...Bound to the pillar. Covered with wounds. The blows of the lash sound upon his torn flesh, upon his undefiled flesh, which suffers for your sinful flesh. More blows. More fury. Still more... It is the last extreme of human cruelty. Finally, exhausted, they untie Jesus. And the body of Christ yields to pain and falls limp, broken and half-dead. You and I cannot speak. Words are not needed.
Look at him, look at him... slowly.
After this... can you ever fear penance?"