Setting aside, for a moment, the fact that Rodrigo Garcia’s upcoming Last Days In The Desert gives us – once again – a very white Jesus, the new trailer for the film showcases what could well prove to be a fascinating narrative. Written and directed by the filmmaker, the movie takes the Messiah’s oft-told 40-day journey of self-discovery through the desert, and imagines the internal battle that might have defined its end.
“Last Days In The Desert follows Jesus (Ewan McGregor) in an imagined chapter from his forty days of fasting and praying in the desert. On his way out of the wilderness, he struggles with the Devil, also played by McGregor, over the fate of an ordinary family in crisis, setting for himself a dramatic test with distinctly human conflicts.”
Wherever you stand on Jesus, and The Bible, this looks to be a compelling exploration of the psychology of Christianity as a religious doctrine. Jesus considers his existence and its meaning, his relationship with his Father, his purpose and direction, and his impact upon humanity. Yet, it appears that Rodrigo Garcia has left us enough room to bring our own interpretation to proceedings – having the Devil take the form of Ewan McGregor too. Is he a surreptitious, malevolent fallen angel, manifesting in such a form as to manipulate the Son of God, or is he, in fact, the darker aspects of Jesus’ own personality?
Hopefully, the answer this movie will help you reach will be dependent upon what you bring to it in the first place – and that is what this trailer suggests is the case. The broader view of the project, as an artistic endeavour, benefits from the prospect of sweeping, barren vistas, and creative uses of sound.
On its most basic level, however, Last Days In The Desert is also intriguing for the fact that it presents a tale involving Ewan McGregor talking to himself in the sand – something that, if you remove the concept of ‘Jesus’ from the equation, is potentially fascinating viewing. Its tiny supporting cast – consisting of Ciaran Hinds (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Tye Sheridan (Scouts Guide To The Apocalypse), and Ayelet Zurer (Daredevil) – serve as the plot device that prompts this central character in his thought processes and inner arguments. Could this be a career-defining achievement for the actor? We’ll find out when Last Days In The Desert is released, on May 13th, 2016.
Source: The Playlist