Skip to comments.Netflix's weird show about a messiah from the man who create Trump.
Posted on 01/01/2020 8:40:23 PM PST by bagadonutz
In Damascus, an ISIL siege is stymied by a 43-day sandstorm of biblical proportions that was foreseen by a single man. For accurately predictingand preaching throughoutthe cataclysm, this figure comes to be known and revered as al-Masih (Mehdi Dehbi), aka The Messiah. Having commanded the ear of the poor and downtrodden, al-Masih leads his new Palestinian followers across the desert to the Israeli border, thereby instigating an international incident about which he seems blissfully unconcerned. Throw away your assumptions about God. Stop clinging to what you think you know. In this hour, mankind is a rudderless boat.
Cling to me, he intones with the calmness and conviction of a prophet and the long hair, chiseled cheekbones and well-trimmed beard of a male model.
And cling to him they most certainlyand crazilydo.
Messiah, a new 10-part Netflix series premiering on Jan. 1, is the story of al-Masihs effect on the world, both abroad and here at home. Thats because, after a stint in an Israeli jail where intelligence officer Aviram (Tomer Sisley) is shaken by his captives insight into his own life, al-Masih suddenly materializes in the tiny enclave of Dilly, Texas, and, in particular, at the church of Felix (John Ortiz). Thanks to crushing debts, Felix is on the brink of burning his house of worship to the ground. Before that can happen, however, a tornado rolls into town, and so does al-Masih, whos seen standing before it as if protecting the church from destruction. When it turns out that the stranger has also saved the life of Felix and boozy wife Annas (Melinda Page Hamilton) runaway daughter Rebecca (Stefania LaVie Owen), the global narrative is set: al-Masih is Gods chosen vessel.
Created by Michael Petroni, executive produced by The Apprentices Mark Burnett, and often directed, boringly, by V for Vendetta helmer James McTeigue, Messiah generates suspense from ambiguity: namely, the question of whether or not al-Masih is, in fact, the second coming of Christ. Thats certainly the issue which consumes CIA agent Eva Geller (Michelle Monaghan), who, when not enjoying mysterious trips to the hospitaland giving herself equally puzzling shots that appear to cause her hair to fall outzealously looks into this enigmatic individual. Those in search of answers and salvationsuch as mother Staci (Emily Kinney), who brings her cancer-stricken daughter to see al-Masih against the wishes of her husbandflock to him in Texas. No one, however, believes in him as strongly as Felix, who embraces al-Masih like a drowning man clutching a piece of driftwood.
Al-Masih is greeted by both celebration and hostility, and Messiah makes a point of structuring itself so that everyone, and everything that takes place, is mirrored elsewhere. Eva, tormented by medical problems, her past, and her dementia-addled father Zelman (Philip Baker Hall), is echoed by Aviram, who spars with his ex while trying to maintain a relationship with his daughter, and whos tortured by a dark secret. In the U.S., epilepsy-afflicted Rebecca becomes a fervent disciple, just as young Jibril (Sayyid El Alami) did in the Syrian desert. Natural disasters swirl about al-Masih on separate continents, and he leads respective congregationsPied Piper-stylethrough two different deserts. Felix has an Arab counterpart who preaches al-Masihs divinity, and the mans movement faces pushback from various establishments, be they U.S. and Israeli governments (which are depicted as venomous, if not outright murderous) or orthodox Muslims who view al-Masih as a false prophet.
Such parallels lend Messiah cohesiveness, but they dont speak to the shows larger themes because, well, there really arent any. Humanitys desire to believe in something bigger than itself, and the competing impulse to view miracles with skepticism, are certainly catalysts for the narrative. Yet despite what he claims, al-Masihembodied by Dehbi as an alternately cheery and intense cipher whose motives are impossible to readisnt so much a vehicle designed to reflect peoples hopes, fears and dreams, as much as an agent of chaos. Discord invariably follows in his wake, especially in the cases of Eva and Aviram, whose personal and professional troubles are magnified by al-Masihs conduct: magically escaping jail cells; talking about things he shouldnt know about; and performing other feats previously only pulled off by Jesus.
If theres a realistic element to Messiah, its the notion that the arrival of a convincing prophet would send many peopleof all religions and nationalitiesinto a tailspin of excitement, doubt, panic and insanity. A sequence in which a student walks through a college campus thats become a carnival of hippies, preachers, doomsayers and beer-bonging slackers is perhaps its most accurate speculative moment. Unfortunately, its character-based dramas, rife with guilt, shame, and moral confusion, barely speak to the potentially world-transforming al-Masih, or peoples attraction to faith; rather, theyre just standard predicaments mainly designed to eat up time when the show isnt fixating its gaze on its would-be messiahs placid countenance and cryptic, oblique pronouncements.
In the end, Messiah hinges on whether al-Masih is the real deal, and yet Petronis plotting makes clear early on that its not going to provide a definitive answer. As when Al-Masih resurrects a shot boy, but we never actually see a gun fire, the action always leaves open the possibility that both interpretationshe is Gods man; hes a charlatanare true. A bevy of revelations about al-Masihs background eventually come to light, but theyre similarly hard to trust; worse, theyre not particularly exciting, which also goes for the bombshells dropped about Eva, Aviram and Rebecca, all of them brought to life with earnestness but not much idiosyncratic liveliness by Monaghan, Sisley and Owen. At least theyre fully developed, thoughfrom an Islamic terrorist who recruits Jibrils friend Samir (Fares Landoulsi), to a political scientist major (and waiter) whom Eva looks out for, many threads are simply left to dangle, which consequently renders them corny plot devices.
By the time the president of the United States (Dermot Mulroney) starts falling under al-Masihs spell, Messiah has long since overstayed its welcome, dragging out its central question about the would-be saviors true nature past the breaking point. Its one thing to stoke audiences imagination and anxiety with uncertainty, but do it for too long, and to no conclusive end, and what youre left with is characters, situations and conundrums that are increasingly impossible to care aboutespecially when the show has nothing enlightening to say about them.
Read that. Albeit quickly. Didnt see any reference to Trump.
There is a Messiah figure to come before Christ, and the number of his name is 666.
I’m in my cups, but that headline makes no sense!
2020 off to a great start.
Only watched 2 episodes so far, but he seems to be the 12th Imam / Mahdi.
I would not pollute my brain , watching this crap , if you paid me to.
Reject media/show-biz garbage. 100,%
Utter drivel. Par for the course when it comes to Netflix.
No mention of President Trump unless one assumes the reference to the President of the United States is our current president.
No chance this president would fall for the nonsense this character spouts. Not a snowballs chance in hell.
Reminds me of the Bruce Willis remake of Death Wish, which generated an 18%/77% critical chasm.
Created by Michael Petroni, executive produced by The Apprentices Mark Burnett,.....
Just more BS from DB
Paragraphs are our friends.
BTW, that series sounds like a bunch of PC hogwash.
Some vague reference to Dune? BoD
[There is a Messiah figure to come before Christ, and the number of his name is 666.]
Correct - though I would alter your statement slightly
“There is a anti-Messiah figure to come before Christ, and the number of his name is 666.”
Many will come claiming to be the Messiah. Look up!
Correct. This is just more incredible propaganda by the Satanic Globalists to "prepare ye the way for the Antichrist."
Obama is on the board of Netflix, which is one of the biggest money laundering scams in the world. What could go wrong?
My wife watched "The Two Popes" on Netflix, and said it was more complete garbage.
She said it was simply an attempt to humanize and endear Francis.
In the movie, the two men help each other to "forge" ahead. It depicts a Vatican Bromance. Right. The truth is, Obama, Soros, and the globalist cabal initiated a treacherous coup in the Vatican and blackmailed Benedict (according to multiple reports in the Italian press).
Not sure it’s fair, but the first thing that came to mind was “Randall Flagg” in Stephen King’s “The Stand”.
I probably shouldn’t jump to conclusions.
Very grateful we pulled the plug on the TV right before Zero was elected. If I want to be entertained I choose books or even watching dog show competitions. (at least in those the call a Bitch a Bitch).
Recently I changed my alarm clock to wake me by a radio station. Frightening to hear the lyrics in the ‘new’ Country songs. Pure programming and not for a higher purpose, either.
My refrain is, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.”
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