I was quite impressed with the movie, and there was one scene between Jesus and Mary (a flashback) that I enjoyed very much.
I would be interested to know how much of the violence (primarily the flogging sequence) was actually in the Bible and how much was not. It was pretty clear that the two Roman legionaries who administered the flogging were enjoying their job far too much. Mark told me, though, that Judaea was considered a hardship post by the Roman military, a place where they would send their most troublesome soldiers. So perhaps having a couple of sadists there made historical sense.
A bit of poetic license is taken at the end of the movie, I think. I don't remember an earthquake occurring. Pontius Pilate and his wife Claudia come across rather well.
I liked the fact that I could understand some of the Latin, though they use Vulgate Latin in the film, in which the consonant 'v' is pronounced fricative instead of as a 'W' sound. The Latin-speaking actors sound as if they are Italians speaking Latin, instead of Romans.
Oddly enough, I found Kill Bill more disturbing in terms of violence, in some ways. In other ways, The Passion was more disturbing because presumably6, real people were this cruel--and we know the Romans were, in terms of performing crucifixions. I think most Romans though did it with a bit more military discipline that was shown in this film.
I can't say whether I would recommend The Passion to others. Certainly, if you're of a religious frame of mind, go see it. In some ways, I regard it as a movie about a man who lived his life as a religious figure and at the end had to bite the bullet and be a religious figure. I say this because scenes of the crucifixion are interspersed with scenes from the Last Supper and other occasions. In those other occasions, Christ is very calm and measured. At the crucifixion, though, he is at the end of his rope, yet somehow finds the strength at the very end to pull through.
To me, Christ is more human and real during the crucifixion, when he is bloody, sweaty, dirty, and completely exhausted, than he is during scenes such as the Last Supper, when he is clean, healthy, and being ritualistic.
Mary is so wrong about the future of furniture!