Wednesday, April 15, 2009

pink panther 2 as seriously theological film

I undertake a monthly film review for the Methodist denominational magazine. With Easter holidays upon us, the challenge has been set. I need to find both a family film, and one that can sustain a depth of theological reflection. When all else fails, enter Pink panther 2. Amid the chuckles from Taylor’s young and old, the following conclusion was written:

Inspector Jacques Clouseau functions as the fool. While not a theme common to contemporary Christianity, it has fascinating roots in the Christian tradition. Paul describes his ministry as that of being a fool for Christ in 1 Corinthians 4:10. Georges Rouault painted Jesus as a clown, Dostoevsky described Jesus as the fool in “The Brothers Karamazov,” while the movie “Godspell” portrayed Jesus with red clown shoes, suspenders and Superman T-shirt.

This is not heresy, for John Drane argues in “The McDonaldization of the Church” that the figure of the clown embodies central Christian beliefs about Jesus. The clown is a symbol of joy in the pleasures of the everyday, a symbol of hope who never gives up believing, a symbol of non-conformity who humbles the exalter and exalts the humble.

Good clowning sets worlds of success and failure against each other, in the process provides insight into what is real and meaningful. On that basis, take a bow Inspector Jacques Clouseau and “Pink Panther 2,” for amid the humour, a Christ figure subverts many of the values of our media saturated culture.

Posted by steve at 12:04 PM


  1. One of my favourite bumper stickers – “I’m a fool for Christ, whose fool are you?”


    Comment by Merv — April 15, 2009 @ 11:01 pm

  2. And in 2012, Palm Sunday falls on April Fools Day. Jesus, fool-like, entering on a donkey, one man against the Roman empire and the machinations of the Pharisees, daring to think that non-violence and the one wheat seed dying might change a world.


    Comment by steve — March 31, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

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