Jesus Versus The Messiah

4/54/54/54/5

Being the Son of God can be a son of a bitch

When Sally (Gemma Deerfield) has a run-in with a local pub bully she is helped out by Jay (Simon Phillips), a slightly wet character who means well. Then it becomes Sallys turn to help Jay, whose full name turns out to be Jesus.

When Sally returns to the pub the following day to retrieve Jays wallet, she runs into a large and dangerous cowboy dude (Danny Idollor) who is looking for Jay. And if Jay is Jesus, then the Messiah is here to make sure that he finally goes through with his crucifixion.

Of course, none of this is immediately apparent to Sally – who also has her own reasons for not wanting to be found – and she and Jay head north.

Although Sally is a very well grounded character, there is a deliberate element of uncertainty about both Jay and the Messiah. Writer/director, Alan Ronald has been very careful to avoid giving any clear indication as to whether the two men really are who they think they are or whether Sally has managed to get herself caught up in someone elses delusion. That said, I found it very easy to buy into Jay as Jesus on the run and I had no problem accepting The Messiah as, well, The Messiah.

This probably says something about me, but it also says a lot about how well written the main characters are. All three of these individuals are very well drawn, completely rounded, and thoroughly believable. All of this makes for some very engaging characters who very quickly draw you in to their world and keep you wanting to know how things are going to pan out.

It helps, of course, that the acting is so strong throughout. All three of the main cast – and the more minor characters, for that matter – put in excellent performances and really do bring their characters consistently to life.

Jesus Versus the Messiah is a very character centred film, and this approach allows the plot to flow in a very natural manner. Nothing is forced and, by allowing the story to emerge from the developing relationships between the characters, Alan Ronald manages to maintain a narrative that remains consistent, believable and utterly enthralling.

When all of this is combined with a collection of great one-liners, and a genuinely moving ending you have a film that is well worth tracking down.

9 Responses to Jesus Versus The Messiah

  1. on 05 Apr 2008 at 6:30 am Nikky-B

    This is a great movie which draws you into completely believing in the characters from the beginning right to the end.and beyond!
    Well written and well acted - with some superb one liners - it appeals to your emotions on many levels.
    Loved it!


  2. on 06 Apr 2008 at 6:21 am Sarah Cole

    I actually liked this film, which was unexpected. It was well made and brimming with wit and emotion. Although the three leads worked well, I did think that Sally (Gemma Deerfield) looked and acted too young for the role of such a tough character and her dress change made her look like she was supposed to be playing a school girl, in the st trinions movie.
    Jay and the Messiah made this film for me, Phillips had a wonderful comic timing, while Idollor had a dark sex appeal. The chemistry on screen from them, including the river battle is cult movie gold.


  3. on 06 Apr 2008 at 7:08 am John T

    I thought this would be a cheap rip off, to cash in on the whole Aliens versus bollocks. But this was actually miles better, with less budget than my rent.
    Alan Ronald has done a brilliant job of writing and directing and I think Jay and The Messiah are the coolest and funniest due, since Hot Fuzz. Even though they are enemies, you felt a bond between them like they where brothers, forced to fight. In all it was a thought provoking film.


  4. on 06 Apr 2008 at 6:36 pm Crazy Chloe

    This film was not great, but very good. It was something that the makers put a lot of thought into and it showed in the acting. Sally did irritate me with the way she had a sarcastic remark in every scene, none of which where funny. And the sudden dress change was un-convincing, it served as nothing more other than to show off her legs. I did like the scenes between Jay and the Messiah, it was bordering on camp but they redeemed themselves with the cafe and water fight scenes. They should have their own Terminator 2 style spin off. Jay and the Messiah strikes back.err maybe not!


  5. on 07 Apr 2008 at 3:20 am kofi S.Africa

    I really liked this film,it was well acted and a diffrent approach to the action genre. The only dilemma me and my girlfriends had was, who we would go for. The witty, cute and charming good guy Jay (Simon Phillips) or the Tall, dark and sexy deep voiced bad boy Messiah (Danny Idollor). Oh God in heaven, Im Bridget Jones!


  6. on 07 Apr 2008 at 7:17 pm Arnold Hardly Peanuts

    A great film, just goes to show what can be possible without millions of dollars to spend. It may not be for everyone, but its a great romp. You can really feel it was made for the enjoyment and love of film making and story telling, and not dreams of getting super rich or trying to be something theyre not. The subject matter may upset some. But I ask that you dont take it to heart, the story clearly was never meant to offend anyone and you should look beyond that and enjoy the film for what it is.

    The making of videos are a also worth checking out. Alans partner Debbie Attwells Infectious giggle during many behind the scenes segments, sums up how the entire shoot was - A great laugh! Even when the heavens opened in some kind of protest to the content, moods rarely dropped very far and everyone clearly believed in what they were doing, and it all comes through clearly in the movie proper. Recommended for anyone who wants something different, raw, genuine and unafraid. The kind of story many have considered making, but few dared to try.


  7. on 14 Apr 2008 at 12:53 pm Cecilia

    I thought this film was amazing - considering the budget. Jay was very comical, the Messiah was superb and Sally (Gemma Deerfield) was just amazing. To say she changed her dress to show off her legs is rubbish (previous post!). For me this shows jealousy from the person who posted this comment! Her change of clothes to me made sense - something small that fitted in her bag considering she lived in her car - cant quite imagine she has a large wardrobe. Well done to Alan and all the cast. I just hope its a success as they worked hard. Well done to you all. Excellent work and you should all work again at some point.


  8. on 16 Apr 2008 at 2:12 am Terry

    Not a bad film, considering the budget. It was a diffrent insight and very well thought out. I have to say I am inclined to agree with Crazy Chloe, although Sally was living out of a car. In such cold weather, what was the need for such a short dress. It came out of nowhere, like it was meant for another movie and the only thing missing was a shower scene or Swordfish style tit shot. Cecilia protest too much not to be Gemma Deerfields freind or relative. As someone whose none of those things, the film was good if not great.


  9. on 13 Jun 2008 at 2:27 pm James Harris

    I greatly enjoyed this movie.It was well-acted,well-paced and quite beautiful to look at.
    The story was intriguing and I totally bought into the central idea.
    There were enough hints as to other aspects of the characters lives to suggest the possibility of a sequel.I would love to see it happen.


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