Jesus Christ Superstar (2012)

As part of doing his thing for the Covid-19, Andrew Lloyd Webber is making some of his musicals available for a short period to everyone through Youtube (Yahhh!!). So if you are like me - a fan of stage show musicals and grand productions - this is for you and your weekends and the sullen mood of the quarantine days with endless bad news can take a hike!.

Very appropriately, the release for Good Friday is the contemporary re-telling of Jesus Christ's last seven days in the fabulous rock musical - 'Jesus Christ Superstar'. There are many versions available (that is the point of a stage show anyway!) and this one rocks really the way it re-imagines Christ. 

Jesus Christ - if you strip away the divinity and can look at the man as he lived in Israel about 2000 years ago, is a remarkable man. Without the godliness, he was actually a reformer of faith, who worked hard to reform his own religion. He did what every other reformer in the world did - he gathered a following and raised a banner against the institution, which was protecting the corrupt and exploiting the gullible.

Every reformer, who is worth his salt, becomes a revolutionary as well - if not willingly, by the flow of events around him. Jesus is no different, when his efforts to reform from within fails, he revolts against the institution of the religion and gets crucified. Then, he becomes divine and like Judas sings when the show starts - everyone forget the words of the man himself and Christ becomes an institution himself - which again is what happens to most of the revolutionaries.

The re-imagining of the show moves the timeline to somewhat of the modern world and Jesus is a leader of people fighting against the established institutions of religion. He puts people before profit and antagonize the men in suits enough to end up crucified. The entire story fits like a glove and there is not much surprise to find out what happens to working guys who start questioning the suits playing golf.

The story is told between Mary Magdalene, Judas and Jesus. The rest of the cast supports and does not interfere. Judas is given interesting space who questions the path Jesus has chosen and conflicts with Jesus before betraying him to Caiaphas's police. The show explores the psychology of the relation between Judas and Jesus and tries to explain why Judas did what he did.

Mary M is full of love for Jesus and is really confused as to the nature of her affection for him. There is a lot of self-doubt and what starts as a question around why she is unable to attract him while being attracted to him ends with a lot of crying as Jesus is crucified at the end.

The songs are absolutely fabulous and the live rock band rocks. Of course, my favorite is the title track which is an absolute classic and the 'Gethsemane'. The song around Herod's real funny show on the trial of Jesus - highlighting Herod's self-obsession - is very good as well.

The version does not follow the Biblical sensitivity and so, if you are looking for a more conservative take on the story, this is not the right one to watch. But, like me, if you like JC for what he is and what he stands for without all the divinity and mystical shroud over him, you will thoroughly enjoy.

The show is available only till 11.30pm IST tomorrow - so if you want to watch it, watch it quickly.

1 comment:

Jeysri Prakash said...'s a worthy afternoon well spent with you...amazing performance..lovely JC...awesome lyrics ...songs are still lingering in my of all webber's note of thanks mentioning Sarah fills my heart ....

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'தென்னிந்திய கிராம தெய்வங்கள்' என்ற புத்தகத்தின் மொழிபெயர்ப்பை செய்து கொண்டு இருக்கும் போது , என் குடும்பத்தில் பல வருடங்களுக்கு முன...