If You Haven’t Watched Netflix’s Messiah, You’re Missing Out
Sure, everyone’s talking about You Season 2 and The Witcher, but the real diamond in the rough is the Netflix original that dropped on the first day of the roaring 20s, Messiah.
If Jesus came back today, what would it take for you to believe him? Would the CIA try to arrest him? Would he speak blasphemy against Judaism, Christianity, and Islam? Would you believe in miracles in your world of Photoshop and deepfake videos?
This isn’t just another corny rehash of Bible stories.
Messiah is damn good television.
ISIL is about to rain blood on Damascus. Tanks and assault rifles are ready at the city limits, and everyone inside is terrified. Then, Arab Jesus comes up on a soap box, and a sandstorm “of biblical proportions” swallows up the entire ISIL army.
Arab Jesus leads his newfound followers into the desert. Epic.
Filmed in Jordan, the show is full of powerful, immersive shots that keep you on the edge of your seat. Messiah is a riveting balance of serenity and thriller-worthy international intrigue.
So there’s the Messiah. Who else?
The characters are well developed, from angry Israeli prison guard, Aviram Dahan (played by Tomer Sisley, whose potential character transformation is put into motion from the first episode) to no-bullshit CIA operative, Eva Geller (played by Michelle Monaghan, whose steel resolve is tempered with empathy and compassion).
Anna Iguero (played by Melinda Page Hamilton) is an interesting character. She lives in middle America with her overbearing Christian father. Anna rebels by taking pictures of dead birds and smoking weed. Anna’s edgy teenager motif is pretty cringe, but it’s presented well, and besides, teenagers in general are pretty cringe.
As far as the prophet goes – Al Massih, played by Mehdi Dehbi – he’s the fulcrum that events spiral around. It’s hard to say how good or bad his acting skills are, because his thing is kind of just standing there looking Jesus-y (at least at the beginning of the series. No spoilers, remember?).
The complex characters in Netflix’s Messiah support its unique plot. The developers understand that religions strive for peace and humanity. It’s the kind of beautiful fantasy that we all need in these chaotic times.
Just who is this mysterious Messiah?
Is he Jewish? Christian? Muslim? We know that the Messiah was “originally Jewish.” We know that he can conjure Jesus-like magic: he can read your mind, control the weather, and heal the sick. But what will he do with these powers? Is he really the messiah? Or is he “Shaitan,” as some of his non-believers call him? You’ll have to watch to find out.