Mary Magdalene trailer

Rooney Mara and her best friend Jesus are about to hit theaters together in Mary Magdalene, a new film from Lion director Garth Davis. Mara plays the Biblical heroine who committed her life to following Jesus Christ, played here by Mara’s real-life boyfriend Joaquin Phoenix. The first Mary Magdalene trailer has just arrived to give us a taste of the holy drama to come.

Mary Magdalene is one of the most well-known figures in the New Testament, primarily due to her many portrayals in pop culture. As one of the few frequently-mentioned female followers of Jesus, she tends to stand out, so much so that scholars (and storytellers) have long hypothesized that she might have even been the wife of the historical Jesus. (The Da Vinci Code builds an entire story around this concept.) While Mary Magdalene has appeared in films before – notably in The Last Temptation of Christ, where she was played by Barbara Hershey and The Passion of the Christ, where Monica Bellucci took on the role – she’s always been a supporting player. In Garth Davis’ Mary Magdalene, however, Mary has a chance to step into the spotlight. The first Mary Magdalene trailer tells the tale below.

Mary Magdalene trailer

I’ll be blunt: this trailer is not very good. Visually, Mary Magdalene looks striking, but the way this trailer is pieced together gives one pause. The music feels completely wrong, and I can’t get a feel for what type of story it’s trying to tell. Is this intended to be a devoutly Christian film a la God’s Not Dead, or is it more of a historical drama using Biblical figures? On top of this, there’s the issue of casting. While Mara is a phenomenal actress, one can’t help but notice the whitewashing at play here in regards to the historical Middle Eastern and Jewish backgrounds of the figure she’s playing. I can hear the thinkpieces being written as I type this.

Here’s the official Mary Magdalene synopsis:

Set in the Holy Land in the first century C.E., a young woman leaves her small fishing village and traditional family behind to join a radical new social movement. At its head is a charismatic leader, Jesus of Nazareth, who promises that the world is changing. Mary is searching for a new way of living, and an authenticity that is denied her by the rigid hierarchies of the day. As the notoriety of the group spread and more are drawn to follow Jesus’ inspirational message, Mary’s spiritual journey places her at the heart of a story that will lead to the capital city of Jerusalem, where she must confront the reality of Jesus’ destiny and her own place within it.

Mary Magdalene, starring Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, and  Chiwetel Ejiofor, opens March 16, 2018 in the UK, and March 30, 2018 in the United States.

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