When a film claims – not once but thrice, that it is not islamophobic, there is no way on earth that it isn’t. Similarly, when a film tries to shoe-horn time and again at how smart it is, chances are it is the stupidest thing out there. Jim Carroll’s “Black Easter” – supposedly edited from his own film “Assassin 33 A.D.” is a time-travel film disguised under the wraps of idiotic faith-based propaganda. Filled with smug characters and brainless anecdotes about time continuum and whatnot, “Black Easter” is a film made to help people know that the iDisciple App exists and you should probably download it.
We open with Ram Goldstein (Morgan Roberts). Ram, in a matter of minutes, is established as a world-renowned genius by guess who? Ram himself. His smug, almost punchable voice lazily narrates this tale about his whereabouts and how good he is. When not narrating, he is an absolutely unlikable, ignorant, and arrogant young man. Soon enough, without any sense of coherence, director Jim Caroll also establishes that Ram, along with 3 other young scientists has been recruited by Ahmed Amir (Gerardo Davila). He is a millionaire who wants them to work on a secrete project about the science of matter transfer.
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The other three scientists are given prop characterizations – including a self-declared ‘cliched nerd-guy with a soft toy’ in the mix. Also in on the project is Amy (Ilsa Levine) – the supposedly hot, love interest who is only smart enough to not one-up Ram. It is obvious that Carroll uses this character to induce his anti-god character with a redemptive arc and an emotional cushion. In the cross-fire, he forgets to give her any kind of depth and is only placed in the mix to be bait for the male-savior complex.
Anyway, the intelligent Ram and his super-cool team unknowingly discover that their matter transfer project has now been pushed to the limits and they have actually discovered time travel. As ridiculous as this sounds, wait till you see how Ram discovers that his millionaire boss is actually a Muslim extremist who wants to send guns back and forth. Not only that, when the extremist discovers that his new team has discovered time travel, he decides to go back in time and kill Jesus.
Yes, you heard it right! This is a time-travel film about killing Jesus. However, since the young scientists are smart-asses, they make numerous trips back and forth in time to avoid Ahmed from doing what he wants to do. This f**ks up the time continuum and no one – even the director cares as to how logical or coherent the whole thing is. I don’t want to point at how flawed the entire time travel arc is, but this is a problematic film from the get-go.
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The film has zero character development – leading the emotionally heartwrenching moments to feel futile and laughable. More so, it takes so much time to show the back and forth in time that after a point you just don’t care. Not to forget how ill-fated the whole faith-based preachings are. No, I am not talking about its message of forgiveness, but about the audacity to present Christianity as a superior force while constantly spewing anti-propaganda rants about not being Islamophobic as it is just good vs evil and that the villain here is the only Muslim extremist to not be liked.
I mean, the director doesn’t even try. He casts a Mexican actor to play a Muslim character and then claims that this isn’t some propaganda about having to believe in Jesus and his preachings. Carroll – who claims his film to be a faith-based drama with a time-travel twist doesn’t get both those thematic elements right. While something or the other is always happening in the film, the proceedings are so banal and inconsequential that you soon give up.
The acting here is atrocious. Morgan Roberts is so busy being a smart dude that he forgets that his lack of acting skills would not help cover the fact that Ram comes off as a foolish character. The only person who seems to be taking the film seriously is Donny Boaz who plays Brandt. As a guy who has lost his family and is slowly losing his faith in the almighty, Boaz’s act occasionally feels believable. I mean, he does slip into the same atrocities that every other character suffers from, but at least you can see him making an effort. I actually felt bad for Ilsa Levine who is used as eye candy and nothing more.
To sum it up, “Black Easter” is insufferable drivel. It is a film made to promote faith-based Christian propaganda and a sermon-spewing App. Stay away from it because all it will do is render your spiritual growth ineffective.
Black Easter Links – IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes